Change always begins with a conversation.

Pleio began in 2006 when a group of partners sat around a kitchen table and shared their concerns for their friends and family who were struggling with their medication routine. Out of that conversation, Pleio and the GoodStart® program emerged. Since then, GoodStart programs have supported millions of patients from pharmacies across the nation by instilling lasting behavior change through empathetic listening, warm yet scripted dialogue, digital support, and seamless integration with pharmacy.

“GoodStart succeeds in establishing unique relationship with patients at the most challenging points of their medication journey,” says Michael Oleksiw, Pleio CEO. “Our multi-channel approach provides patients the support they deserve, when and how they need it- in a place they are most at ease. Our live, human outreach connects with patients to empower them with the confidence and motivation  they need to address barriers whilst our digital tools provide an extended support relationship.”

GoodStart dually serves patients who are struggling with adherence and validates independent pharmacists as key players in the health sector, according to Michael.

“We don’t want the independent channel as a whole to perform at a lower standard than the retail pharmacy chains do. Improving the performance of individual patients helps independent pharmacists be successful. Success starts with an empowered, adherent, and healthy patient.”

PioneerRx’s president, Jeff Key, agrees with Pleio’s mission. “We don’t make money from our participation with Pleio,” says Key. “We partner with them because we want independents to be the ones the industry sees as active and influential.” All PioneerRx pharmacies have the opportunity to improve their patients’ adherence for free. “We want our pharmacists to be on the cutting edge of making patients healthy,” Key explains. “One of the things I tell pharmacies is that third parties aren’t necessarily taking them out of their network to make more money. Sometimes they’re taking them out of their network because the third party believes that independent pharmacies are not good enough. Those pharmacists need to be an active player in improving patient health any way they can, and Pleio GoodStart is one of the methods that makes that possible.”

Once a pharmacy is enrolled, its data is sent to Pleio on a daily basis and filtered until a list of qualifying patients is generated. These patients receive an initial letter or phone call to explain the GoodStart program and why they were selected as potential enrollees. “We communicate to them that our goal is to help them overcome whatever hurdles they may have because we know that others taking the same drug don’t always succeed,” Michael explains. The typical GoodStart program consists of three phone calls. The first call is an introductory call that aims to build a relationship with the patient. During the second call, GoodStart Mentors listen for potential barriers that stand in the way of positive adherence behavior. With an understanding that these barriers can be complex, GoodStart uses a variety of simple tools and techniques to motivate, orient, and empower patients. A common problem is forgetfulness, and in that instance, the Mentor can deliver GoodStart Minutes (automated email, text, or voicemail that provide reminders or tips). The Mentor will check on the patient’s progress in the third call and offer the GoodStart Minutes again if the patient wasn’t interested in the second call. All calls to patients are made by the same mentor to ensure continuity while deepening the bond with the Mentor and the patient’s pharmacy.

Abby Reynolds, Pharm.D. oversees Pleio’s pharmacy and healthcare partners and ensures that Pleio stays close to the needs of pharmacy. “As a pharmacist with a passion for patient care, I am thrilled to know PioneerRx sees the value of having the GoodStart Program in place for all participating pharmacies. GoodStart provides support and resources to patients on various chronic disease medications, allowing the pharmacy team to focus on billable patient care services, in addition to normal dispensing responsibilities.

One of the factors in the GoodStart program’s success is its Mentors. GoodStart Mentors are semi-retired professionals who work with Pleio to help people in their day-to-day lives. Patty Traylor, who has served as a GoodStart Mentor since the program’s early beginnings, is a retired salesperson based in Arizona. She reaches out to patients when she’s not swimming, golfing, or spending time with her family. She relies on her sales experience (cold calling, self-motivation, and outgoingness) and her Pleio knowledge to make each conversation meaningful and purposeful.

Surprisingly, a medical background is not required to be a Mentor. “In fact, Pleio prefers that we don’t have a background in medicine,” Traylor explains. “My purpose as a GoodStart Mentor is to encourage patients to build a healthy routine out of their medication.” GoodStart leaves the medical expertise to the pharmacists and follows up with the patient only to offer advice or more education about their disease state.

Although she works with patients to establish good habits, Patty sometimes helps people break habits. When one patient expressed his struggle to quit smoking, Patty shared her personal story with smoking and how hard it was for her. She told him about how she had knitted to distract herself, and within two days, she had made an afghan “the size of New Jersey.” The call ended with laughter, a positive sign in Patty’s opinion. “Laughter is such a good medication,” she shares. “If you can make them laugh or smile and build a rapport, then you are engaging the patient and shifting the dynamic of the conversation.”

As she continues to describe her work with Pleio, Patty sums up her time with GoodStart. “I have seen many changes in the program over the years, but the one change I have not seen is how much the patients respond to our calls. They really do respond to these conversations, and I love to hear when they tell me how these calls have changed their lives. If I can touch one person each day and make a difference, that’s so rewarding to me.”

As you balance responsibilities around your pharmacy like star ratings and medication therapy management, Pleio GoodStart adds another team member to your pharmacy who transcends the adherence-as-usual mindset with simple yet meaningful conversations with your patients.

For more information on how Pleio GoodStart can help your pharmacy stand out in the health sector, check out the PioneerRx Help File.

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