ECRM Rx Roundtables: The Future of Pharmacy Technology, Supplies & Services 1/3/2019
The theme of the Thought Interaction Pod roundtable discussions held during ECRM’s recent Pharmacy Technology, Services, Supplies & Automation EPPS was a focus on the future, and what changes we can expect in coming years for the pharmacy and medical markets. And while we had four table topics slated for the discussions, with approximately 80 buyers and sellers in attendance, we actually had to create a spillover roundtable moderated by one of the ECRM team members, and some of the roundtables were packed two or three rows deep!
For those of you not familiar with the TIP discussions, they are part of our educational programming in which we have several roundtables set up, each dedicated to a specific industry issue with a session participant serving as moderator of each table. Attendees are notified of the topics in advance, and pick the topic table of their choice on a first-come, first-served basis. The first round of discussions lasts approximately 30 minutes, after which there is a 5-minute refreshment break, and then one more round of discussions for which attendees chose a second table in which to participate. So each attendee participates in discussions on two different topics during the program.
“There were a variety of perspectives around the table,” says Andy Markievich, Director of Pharmacy Support Services at Ahold Delhaize, who moderated one of the roundtables. “Typically we’re in our little niche without exposure to other types of providers, but here we were able to have discussions with other health systems, distributors and vendors. We had some great discussions.”
Following are video interviews with each of the TIP roundtable moderators, who discussed key takeaways from each of their pods.
Andy Markievich, Director of Pharmacy Support Services at Ahold Delhaize: The Future of Retail Pharmacy
Andy's roundtable discussed how changing customer expectations and the need for “anywhere, anytime” service will impact the pharmacy, particularly with the increased adoption of digital solutions like telemedicine, medication delivery and cubside pickup. However, most agree that the face-to-face engagement will not go away, and will continue to offer a unique point-of-differentiation for pharmacy.
Lyndsey McDonald, Dir. Of Business Development, National Healthcareer Assn.: Evolving Pharmacy Staff to Meet Future Needs
Lyndsey's roundtable discussed the opportunities for pharmacies to enhance service and generate additional revenue by training technicians to provide point-of-care services, healthcare coaching, disease management and other services. By empowering technicians to do more of these tasks, pharmacists will be freed up to provide more clinical services, a large benefit in an industry that’s expected to do more with less.
Ashton Maaraba, SVP of Sales & Operations, AZOVA: How Will Cannabis Impact Pharmacy Services?
Ashton’s roundtable discussed the cannabis industry and how it may drive a new business model for the pharmacy. As Ashton noted, the purpose of healthcare is to treat all issues by using all of the tools at their disposal, and medicinal marijuana is quickly becoming one of those tools available to an increasingly large number of states. The challenge is in the implementation and the messaging around it.
Lyle Green, VP of Sales & Marketing, Marketouch Media: MedSync Challenges & Opportunities
Lyle’s roundtable discussed the challenges to incorporating MedSync into existing pharmacy workflows, many of which are not built to accommodate it. However, those who can make it work find many benefits for patient outcomes.