The Evolution of Pharmacy industry
For years the issue of non-adherence and non-compliance and their economic impact has been discussed at length. However, as data has become more accessible on a greater scale, more effort has been focused on the importance of producing a consensus for standards measuring adherence and the burden that non-adherence places on the healthcare system.
Pharmacies are under pressure to respond to Medicare’s movement toward quality measures for determining reimbursement. Inclusion in payer networks could also be at risk.
In addition, pharmacists’ reimbursement for clinical-based services is gaining momentum, primarily in the form of Medication Therapy Management and other patient-facing services offered by pharmacists. Challenges for the pharmacist include identifying patients in need of these services, understanding how to successfully approach those candidates, as well as workflow changes, time allocation and acceptance of these services by patients. Meanwhile, payers are watching closely for evidence of the impact of interventions. While results won’t happen overnight, and will require patience from everyone involved, the pharmacy should rely on data to improve its reimbursements and quality of care.
Finally, as we encourage patients to take more ownership of their healthcare, and encourage adherence, we must support continued development of new technologies and patient engagement methods.
Obstacles in Pharmacy industry
I work in the Cardinal Health innovation center, Fuse, located in Dublin, Ohio; I work among 100+ software developers, UI/UX designers, marketing research and business analysts. Honestly, it is a concentration of some of the brightest people that I’ve ever been with and a seriously fun place to work. The people are passionate about providing technology-related solutions for healthcare customers—and ultimately, patients.
However, we don’t produce software or technology solutions just for the sake of producing something that we think works. We collaborate with customers to identify what the pain points really are. We build something for users that make sense to them and solve their problems. Then, we update it, and update it again. We can build software and hardware solutions that look really cool and are feature-packed and function well, but if—at its core—it doesn’t connect patients and providers, promote health and wellness, reduce cost and complexity or work to eliminate waste in healthcare, we haven’t done our jobs.
Some challenges that may impact the pharmacy extend to other areas of healthcare. I recently read an article outlining the very real prospect of a nurse shortage in the U.S. and that impact will be felt across many healthcare sectors.