"If you're caught doing the mundane tasks that are taking up your time, you're not having much time with the patient"
Nestled in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a neighborhood frozen in time. Charming 1920’s bungalows and shops flank the streets, and standing as proudly as it first did in 1929 is Hayes Barton Pharmacy, a beacon of history for the Five Points community. An old-fashioned soda parlor bearing the same name leads into the drugstore where patients receive first-generation care from a third-generation pharmacist.
Tim White, a North Carolina native, has always been involved with pharmacy. Both his parents were involved in pharmaceutical sales, and his mother actually found the open position at Hayes Barton where Tim began his career. Although Tim is now pharmacist and owner of Hayes Barton Pharmacy, he has taken a step back from the overall operation of day-to-day affairs. “I miss my patients. That’s the truth of it,” he explains. “I’m not the front line pharmacist anymore.” Tim is a director of operations in his pharmacy now, yet he continues to make a first-hand impact on his patients and the pharmacy industry. Now that he’s no longer directly working inside his pharmacy, he focuses his efforts on working
After World War I, a war medic became one of the principal owners of Hayes Barton Pharmacy. According to neighborhood hearsay, this medic-turned-pharmacist took the liberty of practicing medicine to a degree in the area of Five Points. Ninety years later, Tim and his staff continue to triage on behalf of their loyal customers (some who have been patients for decades). However, they don’t work alone. In 2000, Tim saw an opportunity to partner with his old college roommate, Dan Hardy. “I couldn’t ask for a better partnership,” Tim boasts of Hardy. “We both bring something to the table, and we both enjoy working with each other all these years.” Today, Hardy-White Pharmacies include five stores across North Carolina. Hayes Barton’s staff is proud that their phone number and quality of care haven’t changed since 1929, yet some modern updates to the store improve their quality of care.
“If you're caught doing mundane tasks that are taking up your time, you're not having much time with the patient."
When Tim bought the store in 1989, he arrived on a wave of great technological leaps. “Believe it or not, we had hand typewriters when I first came. So, the most important change we’ve made around here was the first computer system. That being said,” he continues, “we’ve made a lot of changes in this place.” However, he is wary of the latest and greatest in technology and medicine. In an age where they “build ‘em to sell ‘em,” Tim claims that pharmacists must be the “policemen” who seriously consider new technology before introducing to their workflow. When looking for technology, Tim refuses to settle on the first choice; rather, he hand selects his partners himself, and he’ll even go as far as an onsite visit during his product research.
From pill counters to dispensing robots, Tim has hand-selected pharmacy technology that promotes efficiency. “My pharmacists here didn’t like dispensing every single drug, so they asked me if we could get a robot,” he says as he points to his Parata Max. “I challenged them. I said, ‘I’ll be glad to take that function away from you as long as you go forward with what you can do clinically.’” Sure enough, they came through and made time for more patient interfacing. As for accuracy, Tim has relied on Kirby Lester’s pill counter for the past fifteen years for accuracy checks. And to make sure everything is working seamlessly together, Hayes Barton relies on PioneerRx pharmacy software to integrate all their technology into a harmonious workflow. “If you’re caught doing mundane tasks that are taking up your time, you’re not having much time with the patient,” he cautions. More time with the patient means better care, in his opinion. “”To me, a large part of part of health care is trying to understand where a patient is coming from individually, then trying to figure out those problems and provide solutions.” His choices in pharmacy technology have created that spare time for he and his staff to spend less time dispensing and more time listening to their patients.
As of late, North Carolina has taken the pharmacy industry by storm. With noteworthy leaders like Joe Moose, Amina Abubakar, and PDS’s newest Pharmacist of the Year Jason Foil, the Old North State is a hotbed for pharmacy. According to Tim, the NC Mutual Wholesale Drug Co-Op is a hub for “like-minded” people, and the CCNC project allows North Carolina pharmacies to document the care and services they are providing for Medicaid patients. These pharmacists know they’re making an impact on their region, but they always keep the big picture in mind, that is, the federal level. In the 1990’s, Tim had a hand in passing the Any Willing Provider laws that allow pharmacists to be considered health care providers by insurers. This is only the beginning of pharmacists becoming the overall health care providers, and Tim encourages all pharmacists to participate in legislation. “At this stage of the game with the government, I think it’s responsible for close to 70% of the pharmacists’ dollars,” he declares. “We’d best be involved in some type of political action, or we shouldn’t be in business.”
Despite his out-of-office happenings, Tim makes it a priority to carve out time for his pharmacists. “I’m mentoring them on how to be better managers and better pharmacists. A large part of being a pharmacist is being a health care provider and a manager who runs the business side at the same time.” If any of his pharmacists want to pursue a specific niche, such as asthma care or diabetes education or even running their own store in the future, Tim guides them in the right direction.
While his store is a testament to the good ole days of first-generation pharmacy, Tim and his staff keep a weather eye on this industry to ensure its success for generations to come.