Significant Opportunity Found in Opening New Ambulatory Pharmacy
Pharmacy provides opportunities to impact health system continuum of care
A large health system in Southern US was considering opening ambulatory pharmacies on two of their hospital campuses. The main objectives were to ensure discharged patients and their caregivers could leave with medicines in-hand as well as receive counseling from staff pharmacists, with a goal of preventing adverse medication events and readmissions.
The hospital leadership reached out to the McKesson Pharmacy Optimization® Ambulatory team to help assess the feasibility of implementing two new pharmacies that would not only achieve profitability, but also have a positive impact on patient care and satisfaction.
Working collaboratively with staff and leadership, McKesson analyzed many factors including market size, revenue and profitability potential, patient awareness levels, and hospital marketing activities to determine a new ambulatory pharmacy’s ability to drive adequate volume. One particular challenge was that competition was dense with dozens of large chains and independent pharmacies in the immediate region — which meant that differentiated offerings would be very important to capture share.
Based on findings and available data, McKesson projected an initial target of 25% capture rate within 18 months. Together, the team reviewed potential locations for best foot traffic and visibility and provided recommendations for basic design components and technology at each site to optimize workflow, storage and patient privacy. Because differentiation was noted as the key to competing in the retail pharmacy space, the team discussed implementing programs such as clinical counseling, hospital-to-home transitional care, stocking harder-to-find medications or a specialty pharmacy dispensing. As a result of the collaborative assessment, the health system decided to move forward and now operates two ambulatory pharmacies. Leadership found real value in the personal service and quality experienced when working with the consulting team of experienced pharmacists, awarding us a score of 5 out of 5 for overall satisfaction.
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