In a rural community of 10,000, Jason Turner has found success in crafting his own unique way to do medication synchronization (SyncRx). He began implementing his program in 2013 with a paper and pencil process at the pharmacy he owns, Moundsvilledi Pharmacy.
“In 2013 we developed our SyncRx program; we started aggressively enrolling patients into that program and grew the program to hundreds of patients.”
Always striving to improve his performance and efficiency, Turner has worked to diligently develop processes and the workflow at his pharmacy. Currently, medication synchronization prescriptions represent 70 percent of his volume.
“In 2013 we developed our SyncRx program; we started aggressively enrolling patients into that program and grew the program to hundreds of patients,” Turner said. “At this point we have 1,600 patients enrolled in our program at the Moundsville location.”
Turner had been involved with the store since 2001, but he didn’t become the sole owner until 2012. Up to that point his store had served about 20-30 patients through an auto-fill program. When he started to grow his own med sync program it became a “foundation of the way we practice pharmacy.”
It initially started as a way for Turner to improve the workflow at his pharmacy so he could focus on opportunities to grow his business.
“Around that same time, I started learning more about Medicare Star Ratings and the focus on medication adherence and I realized that medication synchronization is the foundation to both improved medication adherence and pharmacy growth,” Turner said.
Through this foundational change, Turner was able to completely remodel the workflow at his pharmacy and create a two-workflow system. The primary workflow focuses on prescriptions being called in or dropped off by patients and new prescriptions from doctor’s offices; while the synchronization workflow focuses on the monthly medications of the patients already enrolled in the synchronization program.
“When we first started working on med sync, we weren’t sure what days we were going to focus on it and what we quickly figured out was that focusing on med sync in the early days of the week worked best for our patients and the pharmacy,” Turner said.
This allows the pharmacy to front load weeks. It does make their busy times busier, however, their slow times are much slower. On those slower days they can focus on clinical services, medication therapy management, team meetings, employee training and other types of services offered in the pharmacy.
Turner said one of the changes that patients have noticed is, “the fact that we simplified the prescription refill process, so they no longer have to call us and manage their refills. We’re actually calling them to review their medications.”
“You’re going to have to work hard anyway, so you might as well be working smart.”
Additionally, patients have noticed better customer service, consolidated check outs and shorter lines as med sync practices allowed Moundsville Pharmacy to take care of patients more quickly.
The pharmacy also realized that it was better able to manage inventory and now had the ability to more effectively order high dollar items.
Turner said, “You’re going to have to work hard anyway, so you might as well be working smart.” Working smart allows the pharmacy to work more efficiently, alleviates stress for the pharmacy staff, and simplifies the process for patients. It’s a win-win-win.
Turner isn’t keeping this revelation to himself. Since finding this level of success with synchronization practices, Turner has trained more than 500 pharmacists and technicians.
He offers training, focused on things like Medicare Star Ratings and use of EQuIPP reports; the impact of medication synchronization on patients, workflow, financials, prescriber, and marketing; and helps other pharmacy teams set goals for their pharmacy.
“We know that medication synchronization has a big impact, but we specifically dive into its impact in those five areas. Once pharmacy teams understand the impact of medication synchronization, they become much more engaged in learning the process and setting goals,” Turner said.
He teaches the paper and pencil process, explains how to enroll and sync a new patient, develop workflow, and handle new and changed prescription orders. The information from the training can be applied to any sync program and with any pharmacy management software.
This paper and pencil process was developed just as med sync software was in its infancy. Turner wanted to move quickly and transform his pharmacy and help him implement better service. At this point, Turner and his team feel they get the best results from their current process.
“Medication synchronization has expanded our immunization services, as our synchronization process allows us to focus on the patient during that one monthly call to make sure that they’re getting all the immunizations that they’re due for,” Turner said.
With improved efficiency, the pharmacy is also able to better provide medication packaging - which is provided to approximately 375 of Turner’s patients.
Through all his efforts and growth, Turner’s mantra is that “medication synchronization is the foundation to medication adherence and pharmacy growth!”
Moundsville Pharmacy opened in 1981 and is the flagship store for Turner’s four pharmacies. A team of 10 pharmacists and 23 technicians drive the operation that serves the many local communities.