Is this possible? YES. It exists in Aynor, South Carolina…the home of the local high school ”Battling Blue Jackets”. Where is this location that an independent Good Neighbor pharmacy is so successful? Horry County, South Carolina. The Aynor Family Pharmacy was built just four years ago and is positioned at 240 Eighth Avenue (just off SC 501), some thirty miles from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean. Most important: Local patient/customers understand the meaning of “Family” in the Aynor Family Pharmacy name.
As offered by Jennifer Brown, Pharm D, co-owner and PIC (pharmacist in charge): “Our Pioneer pharmacy operating system and the supportive Automated Will-Call Retrieval System (ARS) from RxMedic (www.RxMedic.com) are so in tune with each other that our patient/customers almost always look for the lights on their prescription bag(s) to light up when they come to pick up their prescriptions. They know and value that we are concerned about giving them the correct medication intended for them alone. Once we enter their name or birthdate at the delivery station they look to the automated retrieval system to see their prescriptions show themselves. We use different color bag lights depending upon the pickup location computer being used…front counter, drive thru, etc. so our technicians know where the prescription bags should be delivered and where the pickup request occurs. As part of our pharmacy workflow the Pioneer system is not dependent upon the use of one central server like many other pharmacy operating systems software we have used in the past. Every computer station in our operation today can work independently because it has its own local server for information. We also have printing from every computer station not requiring use of just one central printing station. It is about workflow efficiency.”
Know this as true. It was observed during prescription delivery during this 2017 RxMedic America’s Pharmacy Tour visit. Pharmacy students on experiential rotations from South Carolina and North Carolina pharmacy schools have been surprised by the easy entrance into the Pioneer pharmacy management operating system and the value of the Automated Retrieval System (ARS) from RxMedic. Jennifer commented additionally: “We started with a 100 bag system and have already added 200 additional bags. We are now looking to add another 100 bags to complete a 400 bag system to accommodate our growth. I should add that when doing return to stock prescriptions (not picked up) at our regular return to stock intervals our Pioneer system and the RxMedic automated retrieval system(ARS) work together to help us efficiently pull those necessary. When we click on the prescription number to return to stock in the Pioneer system the ARS alerts us to the bag (which lights) and teaches us quickly where to retrieve it among the multiple hundreds of prescriptions already filled. The time involved to do return to stock and help with inventory control is greatly reduced from traditional return to stock procedures still used by many independent and retail chain pharmacies today. Also I might mention that this automated retrieval will call system (ARS) from RxMedic did not require a formal cost benefit analysis. It was intuitively obvious that it would support our pharmacy workflow efficiency and reduce the time required to service our patient/customers at pickup. Any pharmacist should realize this immediately. I must thank my husband (who is not a pharmacist), while with me attending a Pioneer Annual Conference, for encouraging me to speak with Michael Dennis from RxMedic after my continuing education sessions about the Pioneer System.”
Having visited perhaps one hundred or so pharmacies in the past four years with the Tour, this Aynor Family Pharmacy manifests a “Be Happy” environment for patient/customers. Why? You should visit and get the friendly feelings and smiles. It is powerful! This special environment will consume you. It is real. This is a tribute to the eleven staff (two pharmacists and nine technicians) who have customer service as their mantra. Been anywhere lately where this special caring about pharmacy and patients exists? Surreal comes to my mind as a description for this pharmacy environ.
Jennifer Brown, PharmD is a native of Aynor. She began working in the one local independent pharmacy at that time when she was 14. She is a 1999 PharmD graduate. Everyone in town knows Jennifer as well as Ben Bagnal, the Certified Pharmacy Technician who is also a co-owner. Every pharmacy technician and customer service individual is a native “Blue Jacket” and are known by the patient/customers who use this pharmacy. Is this why every patient/customer thinks of the Aynor Family Pharmacy as “Family”? It instantly occurred for me, a first time visitor, on this Tour visit as the pharmacy drop off specialist immediately greeted me with a smile and offered “Let me have you speak with Jennifer, our PIC. We wish you to be a new member of our community”. Hummm……….
Why is this rural independent pharmacy so successful? This pharmacy demonstrates the pride and passion for its existence. The staff visualizes the thrill of pharmacy to its patient/customers. Everyone in town knows each of the staff personally. They are considered “Family”. Success clearly exists in Aynor, South Carolina for the independent Aynor Family Pharmacy.
Aynor Family Pharmacy. 240 Eighth Avenue. PO Box 338. Aynor, SC 29511. Tel: 843.358.2000.