How Do You Keep Up (with change)?

Every sector of the health care industry is evolving rapidly. Here are a few current examples. Drug distributors are currently working to implement serialization of products as mandated by the DSCSA to further secure the integrity of the supply chain.  Health care companies who handle, distribute, fulfill, dispense, or administer hazardous pharmaceutical products; and entities who compound non-sterile, sterile, non-sterile hazardous, and sterile hazardous products for administration to patients are feverishly assessing operations, weighing process changes, and finalizing educational components for employees about revised USP 795, USP 797, and USP 800 standards scheduled to take effect December 1, 2019.  The passage of the Farm Bill in late 2018 has caused an explosion of cannabidiol (CBD) product offerings. What CBD products are safe to carry? What are my State’s laws regarding CBD products, and where should I source CBD products?  Retail pharmacy accreditation is receiving renewed interest. Is retail accreditation something I should be pursuing?  How should I prepare for this accreditation?
Admittedly, it’s difficult, if not extremely challenging to balance everyday responsibilities and tasks while still trying to keep abreast of the changes occurring in your business ecosystem. So how DO you keep up with the changes?  Importantly, where do you start?
That’s where PMC can assist you. We provide specialized services in the areas of management, administration, regulatory compliance, and identifying best practices. We assist clients by conducting an internal review of operations to identify potential opportunity areas. Then we collaboratively work with you to implement action plans to bring your operation forward. We help our clients better manage the challenge of staying abreast with market changes and we assist them in matching resources to business needs.
Take that first step to “keep up” and advance your future success. Use the Contact Us page to reach us and request a time to discuss your needs and how we can help.


Future of Retail Pharmacy

One constant about pharmacy is change. Both the profession of pharmacy and the business of pharmacy are constantly changing. Educational requirements, scope of responsibilities, and sophistication of skill sets required to be a pharmacist continue to grow.  The competitiveness in the healthcare marketplace has intensified with the emergence of limited product distribution, preferred networks, and outcomes-based payments. Both chains and independents face these business challenges. For both groups, the strong will only get stronger.  The pressure to expand service offerings and service quality will not diminish.  Investments in these improvements must be equally balanced with savings realized through labor efficiencies, expense control, and strong asset management. Because of this constant, yet ever-evolving change in professional and business practices business plans must be constantly monitored and adjusted to ensure the business continues to properly anticipate and meet customer/patient needs. PMC can provide you the needed guidance to select the best means to harvest success.  With PMC assistance and you exercising the PIE principle (Plan, Implement, and Evaluate) you can successfully keep pace with today’s ever changing environment.


New Technologies-New Challenges

New and emerging technologies in the field of automated dispensing devices and systems are proving to be a most innovative advancement for the provision of medications for facilities and institutions. The benefits of utilizing these devices and systems extend to providers of pharmacy services, nursing staffs, patients, and insurers.
Bar coding and chip technologies allow for pharmacists to more efficiently manage human resources and improve on the accuracy of fulfillment and dispensing. Dispensing devices and systems that utilize bar coding and chip technologies reduce waste, eliminate packaging storage and distribution considerations, and are a deterrent to diversion. The costs and associated problems with blister packaging and bingo cards are substantially reduced as well as the expenses associated with discontinued medications and returns to stock.
These devices and systems are user friendly and have been embraced by nursing staffs due to convenience, ease of operation, and coordination of dispensing and medication administration record keeping. Patients are less at risk of receiving wrong medications; and the probability of medication shortages is greatly reduced by tighter inventory control.
In the event medications are discontinued, diversion and waste is reduced, resulting in cost savings to taxpayers and insurers.  For the pharmacy community these new technologies also present new challenges and responsibilities. Provider pharmacies and their Pharmacists-In-Charge will be responsible for the overall operation of these devices and systems. Policies and procedures addressing all aspects of operation to include: security, access, location, accuracy, inventories, maintenance, licensing, filling, and dispensing must be developed, maintained and reviewed. Policies and procedures must also address quality assurance and adverse events associated with the use of these devices and systems. Most importantly, these devices and systems must conform to the rules and regulations of regulatory boards. In many cases the devices and systems must be inspected and approved by the regulatory board before initiating their use.
These new technologies also present challenges to regulatory boards, particularly, when regulatory boards do not have rules and regulations that adequately apply to and address these devices and systems. The time it takes to draft new rules and the process associated with approval and adoption of proposed new rules often lag behind new innovations, processes, and technologies. These regulatory challenges must not be an impediment to the benefits and progression of new and improved technology.
Resolution of these challenges requires collaboration between licensees and regulatory bodies to work cooperatively to safely introduce and utilize these new technologies. There is no question that new technological advances offer a better way of improving outcomes for all involved and interested stakeholders. In the absence of specific rules and regulations, licensees and regulatory boards should develop a framework and action plan which will allow for the safe utilization and implementation of these innovative improvements. Pilot programs, dialogue, and continuous quality oversight which address all areas of concern and challenges are excellent ways for licensees and regulatory bodies to work together. Boards of Pharmacy, licensees, and developers of new technologies must mutually embrace the challenges facing each affected party. A middle ground can be reached and the ultimate benefactor will be the patient.
Need any assistance with the challenges discussed?  Give us a call.