David and Jeanne Lutz, owners of the Rhoads Pharmacy and Gift Shop in Hummelstown, PA know how to be successful in business. This 16,000 square foot operation is dedicated to patient and customer health and satiety…and the over 350 customers a day to this downtown Hummelstown location ( 17 West Main Street) have become accustomed to the latest technologies utilized by the operation.
“Our customers expect us to be leading pharmacy practice in this region. They value the latest technologies we have in place and how we use these technologies to effect the quickest and accurate filling with best pricing for their medications.” says David, a long time pharmacist and technology advocate. It is quickly apparent that David and his wife Jeanne thrive on the customer appreciation they receive as they deliver superior customer service to their extended area family. The appreciation is well-deserved.
Travelling to Hummelstown as part of an appreciation tour by RxMedic for its users, it actually became a remarkable and surprising experience for this pharmacist. I had been told (prior to the visit) by one individual who has visited over 1000 pharmacies in the past 30 years that it was not like any another and easily the best well-managed large operation I would ever visit. Indeed, it completely overwhelmed my expectations.
Perhaps even more impressive than the initial visual effect of the downtown location with its connected two multi-story buildings (one of which is a period-restored late-1930’s landmark), is the interior and detailed presentation of an unlimited number of different products…all of which surround a pharmacy designed with the latest technology to provide accurate and quick delivery of prescriptions and medication consultations. The Diabetes Specialty Shoppe, private consultation and immunization areas are within four feet of the primary prescription delivery area. The word “tidy” hardly expresses the attention to detail that exists in this pharmacy area in front and “behind the counter” and throughout the entire operation. For example, not a single item of the extensive number of over-the-counter products presented, each within their designated planogram area, was shelf-placed crooked…only perfectly aligned facing the viewer.
What do you see when you arrive at your pharmacy drop-off area to leave or pickup a prescription? Does what you see support the trust you have in your pharmacist and pharmacy?
The number of challenges facing the pharmacy profession today, due to new national agendas for improved patient/customer healthcare support, are of concern to David Lutz and his staff…but newly implemented pharmacy workflow actions have married well to the RxMedic automated dispensing system (nicknamed “Flo”) which has been in place nearly four years. The Rhoads Pharmacy website is available to cellphone users and more importantly has its own separate “app” …called Pocket Rx. This app is downloadable on both the iPhone and all android smartphones. This app allows patient/customers to easily refill prescriptions directly and safely from their cell phones. It also allows cration of a user profile to track refills and expedite the refill process as well as create medication reminder alarms to help remind one when to take medication. One can visit the apple app store or android market and search Rhoads Pharmacy to download this app. If you have an iPhone the application is ready to use. With an android smartphone, one needs to download a barcode scanner (unless one is already installed) to use the “Scan and Refill” functionality. The Quick Refill button on this app allows you to submit prescription requests without creating a user profile account. Simple enter the required information and tap “Submit”. One of David’s certified pharmacy technicians designed and effected the app and also handles all of the IT tasks for the operation including the extensive social media effort. Every effort in the Rhoads Pharmacy and Gift Shop is test-market evaluated prior to implementation because David Lutz knows it can impact his ROI (return on investment)…which in this facility is very significant. David also offered that he hopes pharmacy management software providers will soon allow a QR “maze sign” to be printed on labels or receipts for more accessible and quick refill requests by cellphone…and thus allow direct sending to the RxMedic automated dispensing system at Rhoads Pharmacy and Gift Shop for immediate filling.
David and his staff of 2-4 pharmacists, four pharmacy technicians and two counter customer service individuals) have already initiated pharmacy workflow approaches to ensure a five “5” star rating with the new CMS excellence guidelines for pharmacies evaluating their provision of MTM (medication therapy management) and patient medication adherence efforts . As most know, pharmacies in the near future will be CMS audited for performance in these areas and given a star rating. Those that are below average will not be reimbursed for their prescription filling efforts…initially for Medicare and Medicaid patient/customers. Most pharmacist owners with which I have spoken anticipate this approach of reimbursement will be extended to all patient/customers regardless of age and insurance after 2-3 years of CMS experience with Medicare and Medicaid patient/customers. David also offered that he hopes pharmacy software providers will build into their pharmacy management software the ability to track and document performance of these star-rating efforts…for each patient/customer.
Not surprisingly, community pharmacists who have long waited to actually be the Consultant Pharmacist of Record for each patient/customer will now be “mandated” through the new national agendas to deal with America’s other drug problem, that of medication adherence. With many individuals now possessing multiple chronic illnesses, pharmacists will need PharmacyUp® . David Lutz and his staff actually started this approach four years ago…they are clearly ahead of the healthcare reform curve.
Success in today’s pharmacy environ demands involvement and quick implementation of the latest technologies…and pricing adjustments. To maintain the best pricing for any filled generic prescription, the pharmacy technicians working at Rhoads Pharmacy daily monitor best price sourcing for generic medications to stay ahead of what David feels is akin to “grocery shopping”. This is done to ensure the best pharmacy remuneration for prescription filling from pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s) and ensure competitive prescription pricing for his customers.
Through the efforts of the Rhoads Pharmacy and Gift Shop and its dedication to customer health and satiety, no “Trouble With The Curve” (a recent Clint Eastwood movie) exists today for residents of Hummelstown, PA.
www.RhoadsPharmacy.com. Telephone 717-566-2525.