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November 6, 2019

How Pharmacists Can Effectively Collaborate with Prescribers

- Written by Cathy Kuhn, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, director of Strategy Consulting, Updox

In today’s healthcare system, pharmacists and prescribers must establish collaborative relationships with each other to enhance high-value care within their communities. But before they can engage in these conversations, the two groups need to understand what they have in common. 

Pharmacy Management Software SolutionsFor starters, pharmacists and prescribers both: 

  1. Are trusted among patients in their local communities. 
  2. Rely heavily on healthcare technology – like Secure Text, Messenger, and Broadcast to engage patients and coordinate care.  
  3. Desire for their patients to receive the right prescription, adhere to a medication regime, and experience a positive clinical outcome.

When they work together as a cohesive unit, pharmacists and prescribers can effectively impact healthcare in the following three ways: 

  • Minimize Prescription Confusion
    Prescribers and pharmacists both want the best for their patients, but both experience blind spots in patient care that cause major pain points – including medication clarification and coverage. According to a recent study, nearly 80% of prescription clarification resolutions stemmed from person-to-person telephone interactions compared to traditional resolution rates of 50% stemming from fax machines. By collaborating in real time through physician forums, video chat, secure SMS and instant messenger services, pharmacists and prescribers can save time and ensure that they are providing the most accurate medication recommendations needed to improve patient care. 
  • Reduce Rising Healthcare Costs
    Pharmacists and prescribers also have an opportunity to reduce healthcare waste incurred by improper medication management practices. Medication non-adherence costs the U.S. healthcare system $300 billion annually. By establishing a relationship, pharmacists and prescribers can design a holistic Medication Management plan that educates patients, monitors their health needs and intervenes when patients aren’t following their plans properly. 
  • Transforming the Patient Experience 
    Prescribers and pharmacists can also collaborate to improve patient engagement. And there’s never been a more acute need for this, since 81% of today’s consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. By coordinating through customer relationship management (CRM) solutions like Updox, pharmacies can share patient feedback with prescribers and jointly educate patients on steps they should take from the moment they enter the doctor’s office to the moment they leave their local pharmacy.

The promise of high-value care can only be achieved if pharmacists and prescribers work together seamlessly, and they communicate in tandem with patients. If your practice or pharmacy wants new ways to engage patients in their care journeys, download the new playbook, 7 Game-Winning Plays Proven to Reach Today’s Busy Patients.

About the Author: Cathy Kuhn, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, is director of Strategy Consulting for Updox and serves as “voice of the clinician” for Updox solutions and services. She is past president of the Ohio Pharmacists Association and current president of the American Pharmacist’s Association’s (APhA) Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management and APhA board member.

Topics: Pharmacy, Pharmacists, Blog, pharmacy software, pharmacy management