Norland Avenue Pharmacy Embraces Change

You’ll be hard pressed to find a pharmacist as excited about change as Ashli Yoder, PharmD, the clinical services lead for Norland Avenue Pharmacy in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a pharmacist as excited about change as Ashli Yoder, PharmD, the clinical services lead for Norland Avenue Pharmacy in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The young pharmacist’s enthusiasm for pharmacist-provided clinical services is contagious.

In a time where the only constant is change and many Americans are yearning for some normalcy, Yoder and the staff at Norland Avenue Pharmacy are embracing change and becoming more focused on the necessary steps to keep pace in the Flip the Pharmacy program. Flip the Pharmacy is a 5-year pharmacy transformation program aiming to re-work community-based pharmacy practice beyond filling prescriptions and toward an ongoing focus on a patient's health.

Norland Avenue Pharmacy opened roughly 20 years ago and is active in the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Care Network, the CPESN® Network in the state. They enrolled in the Flip the Pharmacy program in August 2019 and got started in October 2019, along with 500 other pharmacies from across the country.

Back then, Deb Page, RPh, was Norland Avenue’s clinical pharmacist and the person responsible for getting everything started. Page is retiring soon and passed the proverbial baton to Yoder to lead all of the Flip the Pharmacy initiatives. Yoder is quick to recognize Page’s leadership and enthusiasm, and praises her for the success the pharmacy has experienced thus far.

Yoder also acknowledged the influence of their Flip the Pharmacy coach, Margie Lydon. “Margie has been instrumental to our success. She is always optimistic and positive,” said Yoder. “Margie is very knowledgeable and takes time to help walk us through the monthly change packages.” Lydon, a pharmacist, is a manager with Value Drug who is also a sponsor of Team Pennsylvania.

Using monthly change packages, Flip the Pharmacy coaches work with local pharmacy teams to implement the 6 key transformation domains with an emphasis on continuing patient care planning with documentation in various eCare plan platforms.

Yoder says she connects with her coach every month and also appreciates Lydon’s ability to respond to questions and concerns each and every week.

Yoder says one of the biggest changes for her pharmacy as a result of Flip the Pharmacy is the impact of the Appointment-Based Model (ABM). The pharmacy revamped their medication synchronization program and now has 3 dedicated staff actively managing medication appointments for 755 patients. Each staffer has their own set of patients. That way, the patients have a consistent person reaching out to them each month.

Yoder also praised her pharmacy software, PioneerRx (a Flip the Pharmacy Program Partner), for helping manage the changes and complete the required eCare Plans.

The biggest surprise for Yoder was the response from the opioid portion of the program. “We were worried about the changes with our opioid patients the most because we were implementing an opioid pledge,” shared Yoder. “But, we had a great response from our patients with very little push back.”

For pharmacists considering the Flip the Pharmacy program, yet still ‘on the fence,’ Yoder has this advice to offer, “At first, changing the pharmacy’s focus to a clinical model seems daunting. But, once you break it down and receive coaching support, you realize that the transformation is doable. More importantly, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. We are more clinically focused. We are ready for the positive changes that are coming to community pharmacy."

Norland Avenue Pharmacy is located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, just 13 miles from the Maryland border. Chambersburg is the county seat and home to 21,000 people.

The Flip the Pharmacy program hopes to directly support 1000 pharmacies, just like Norland Avenue Pharmacy, and impact thousands more. To date, over 800 pharmacies are receiving direct coaching and implementation support. Learn more at www.flipthepharmacy.com.