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They say baseball managers who played the game themselves make better managers. It makes sense. They know the insights and intricacies of the game because they played it. And carrying this volume of intimate knowledge forward informs their players and helps them become more successful from day one.

The same principle applies when you partner with a technology company and implement their home infusion pharmacy software. While trainers are crucial to the learning process, their expertise is software, not pharmacy. Having a pharmacist on the transition team can provide vital supplemental information to enhance acceptance of the software. In fact, a pharmacist can dispense beneficial information in 4 key areas:

  1. Workflow analysis. A pharmacist understands the basic workflow of a pharmacy, from patient intake and dispensing medications for delivery to follow-through and labs. Then there is maintaining the clinical side of the business. An experienced pharmacist has seen and done it all before.

    But a pharmacist who also understands how the tech partner operates and how the software works can play a valuable role during implementation. Especially one who is well-versed in dispensing medications in a home infusion pharmacy. Understanding the steps and services necessary and using the pharmacy system to save time and accomplish goals can be highly beneficial. Improving efficiencies and maintaining adequate records to comply with state boards and other governing bodies is also a big plus.

    Working with someone who knows how a pharmacy works can make your software work a whole lot easier.

  2. Training applications. Training provides background information on how the system operates and what must be done to use it effectively. Without this information, users would be lost. A pharmacist can supplement the training material by applying it to typical pharmacy tasks. He or she can explain in more detail what needs to be accomplished or what is happening on the backside. New users usually learn better and faster when reviewing scenarios they will likely encounter.

    Think about sterile compounding and home infusion. Understanding the system and keeping accurate records is crucial for better patient outcomes. We need good instructions someone can easily follow, because it’s not always a pharmacist compounding medications, and you may have technicians involved. Understanding the consequences is paramount because home infusion can get scary sometimes.

  3. Outcomes Based Implementation (OBI). Running a pharmacy is a business like any other and monitoring performance is critical for success. There are certain Key Performance Indicators (KPI) monitored in most pharmacies that show how that pharmacy performs. The OBI process is a great way to monitor the KPIs – and weekly meetings allow for the presentation of objective data, illustrating how well the software is being used.

    Involving a tech-savvy pharmacist during this process is a good idea. Having managed a pharmacy before, they know how to interpret the data and help answer the big questions. How much are you dispensing? Are you gaining or losing patients? How are referrals trending? Are the care plans effective? What can you learn from the census? What’s impacting your bottom line? An experienced pharmacist can show the way to these answers and more.

  4. Trust. Learning new things can be difficult. It’s easier to understand information when it’s presented by a trusted source familiar with the situation. A pharmacist has been there before. They know the environment. They appreciate what you’re going through, what’s important and what the focus should be. They know how to change and adapt to avoid issues that may arise. Simply put, trust the voice of experience.

Those of us who have been there before will tell you that pharmacists are great at dispensing medicine that helps patients. One thing they are not so good at? Accepting and dealing with change – especially with things like workflows and processes they have become accustomed to.

When change does come – and advancing technology ensures it will, having an experienced and trusted pharmacist involved on the implementation team isn’t just a good idea. It could also be a game-changer for your business.

Do you have a question for a pharmacist involved in the software implementation process?

Contact the author, Jeston Whitsell today. Or contact Brightree to speak with a team member or to schedule a demo.

Jeston Whitsell

Jeston Whitsell, Pharm D
Senior Implementation Consultant, Pharmacy, Brightree

Jeston is a consultant with the pharmacy implementation team and has previous experience as a pharmacist in retail, hospital and home infusion. In addition to providing Brightree training, he utilizes his previous experience as a director of pharmacy to promote efficient home infusion pharmacy workflow and data monitoring to enhance pharmacy performance. Jeston obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR.