Flip the Pharmacy Transforms Community Practice, One Pharmacy at a Time

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics May 2022
Volume 166
Issue 05

As payment models change, pharmacies must adapt to receive reimbursement for the services they offer.

Navigating the future of community pharmacy practice requires pharmacists to be creative, agile, and ready to adapt. Even for those well-versed in the art of innovation, it can be challenging to keep up with the rapid changes in health care, but initiatives like Flip the Pharmacy can help.

“Flip the Pharmacy is a practice transformation initiative that aims to ‘flip’ community-based pharmacies away from point-in-time, prescription-level care processes...to longitudinal and patient-level care processesand business models through hands-on coaching,” said Cody Clifton, PharmD, Director of Practice Transformation and Clinical Programs at Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN). “The initiative focuses on identifying and adopting best practices for workflows that promote delivery of enhanced clinical services.”

Through change packages—monthly instructional guides for pharmacies— Flip the Pharmacy enables pharmacies to implement sustainable workflow changes with staff across the 4 most common community pharmacy focus areas. From there, Clifton explained, each topic area is broken down into multiple domains, ranging from leveraging the appointment-based model to optimizing technology and electronic care plans and establishing working relationships with other members of the patient's care team.

Each of these domains, he added, "[are] important to community pharmacy...It's just as important to document the care that is provided to patients in order to show the value of patient care provided at the community practice level."

In the current practice environment, it can be difficult for community pharmacies to receive reimbursement for the services. “Payment models are changing, and adapting to value-based payment models is an area where community-based practice has an opportunity to provide value, and [to be] rewarded for that value [and] care that is provided to patients,” said Clifton. Ensuring multiple patient touchpoints—when medication is dispensed, through medication synchronization processes, and with appointment-based models—can empower pharmacy staff to control workflow, increase efficiencies, and provide enhanced services to meet community needs.

At this year’s American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition, pharmacy leaders from pharmacy schools across the country presented their research on the Flip the Pharmacy program through a qualitative analysis of community pharmacy practice transformation.1 “Community pharmacy practice advancement is dependent on transformation efforts focused on identifying and adopting best practices for workflows to deliver patient care services," the authors wrote.

The researchers identified several recurring themes related to the reach, effectivness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of Flip the Pharmacy programs. "Each of the domains are necessary for practice transformation," they noted, adding that "[pharmacy transformation teams] found [Flip the Pharmacy]...effective in moving practice transformation forward."

Pharmacists interested in joining Flip the Pharmacy can learn more at www.flipthepharmacy.com, which hosts an extensive content library, including change packages with workflow solutions and best practices. “Change doesn’t happen overnight,” said Clifton,“which is why it is important to focus on chang- ing workflow today so that we can be ready for additional payer opportunities in the near future. Payers are inter- ested in community-based pharmacy enhanced services that help improve patient care. In order to be ready for these additional payer opportunities, pharmacy staff must be prepared to implement a program and document the care provided, which is what Flip the Pharmacy helps to do.”


  1. Hughes TD, Bacci JL, Coley K, et al. Flip the pharmacy: A qualitative analysis of community pharmacy practice transformation. Presented at: American Pharmacists Association 2022 Annual Meeting and Exposition; March 18-21, 2022; San Antonio, TX.
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