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When we first met pharmacist and COO John Gregg over a year ago, he and his team at Thrive Pharmacy were looking for creative ways to manage their 1,000 sync patients and take Simple Sync, their adherence program, to the next level. Since then, his sync patients have more than doubled, and Simple Sync has gone beyond the four walls of his pharmacy.
At this moment, John is optimistic about community pharmacy, especially his own practice. He has witnessed health plans like Medicare broaden their guidelines around medication and pharmacists’ role in administration and adherence. “I think the growth, the services, and the need for pharmacist intervention will continue to expand, which will open up new revenue opportunities,” he says.
These new opportunities in adherence have opened the doors to a new central fill facility for Thrive Pharmacy. The retail location in Plano, Texas, became too small for the workflow John had in mind. In the summer of 2017, Thrive moved all of its sync medications to its closed-door location in McKinney, where the sole purpose is adherence. John is especially excited about the ability to design and build the workflow around the demand of the volume. At this time, they service around 2,500 sync patients.
As he continues to work in his pharmacy, John is paying more attention to efficiency. “We feel like we’ve got a good model on how we’re onboarding patients and maintaining care, so now we are focusing on how to best take advantage of the tools and resources in front of us like PioneerRx and our Parata PASS,” John explains. “We are looking to continue to be more effective and to streamline our operations to make it faster and leaner.” As for the future, John looks forward to partnering with the University of North Texas to make Thrive Pharmacy a preceptor site for students in the College of Pharmacy, but John will take a different approach to rotations. During their time at Thrive Pharmacy, students will experience four “blocks” of hands-on experience: an open-door retail setting, the closed-door central fill location, a pharmacy management block, followed by ambulatory care at one of the clinics they serve within the ACO. “They’ll get a really nice experience, and the benefit to the student is that the entire time, they are learning,” John concludes. Rather than waste the first week settling in at each new rotation, John anticipates students going into each block confidently ready to apply the concepts they learned at previous blocks.
John is also prepping for Connect 2018 and his session on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). After he explains the “landscape” of ACOs, he will launch into a teaching on the pharmacist’s role and value in different payment models. Connect 2018 attendees will not want to miss this class! Because of the ongoing shift in our industry, John’s knowledge on the inner workings of his own pharmacy and the atmosphere beyond the counter is valuable insight pharmacists need in order to keep their pharmacies relevant and successful.