A Q&A with Tiffany Capps, CPhT, pharmacy operations manager at Galloway-Sands Pharmacy in North Carolina and marketing communications manager at CPESN Networks.
Every Wednesday, CPESN hosts a webinar series called Workflow Wednesdays for non-pharmacist staff. The series seeks to help those staff members advance their skill set and move into roles that best serves patient care.
Drug Topics recently sat down with Tiffany Capps, CPhT, a pharmacy operations manager at Galloway-Sands Pharmacy in North Carolina and marketing communications manager at CPESN Networks, to discuss Workflow Wednesdays and how both pharmacists and staff can utilize the program to enhance their skills.
Drug Topics: For pharmacists who aren't familiar, can you explain what the Workflow Wednesday program is?
Tiffany Capps, CPhT: Workflow Wednesday is a series of webinars that are held each Wednesday on different topics. There's a PS3 for pharmacy service support staff, so your technicians and other support staff that are not pharmacists. Then there's Max My Sync, which helps pharmacies optimize and maximize their medication synchronization program. Then there's the Best Practice Trends and the team graduates, which are pharmacies who have graduated out of the cohort.
Drug Topics: Pharmacists are busier than ever, why should they take time out of their day to attend Workflow Wednesday sessions? What are some of the biggest benefits that they can get from it?
Capps: I work in an independent pharmacy…so I totally understand what it's like being busy day in and day out. These are every Wednesday are 30 minutes long. So, if you have time to step away and watch live, then you have the opportunity to engage with your peers across the country. Otherwise, those recordings are posted on the Flip the Pharmacy website. You can always go back and reference those in a downtime.
Drug Topics: Do you want to share some of the upcoming sessions that attendees should know or be excited about?
Capps: The most recent one that I'm super excited about and has helped a lot of pharmacies is the Max My Sync program. We did a whole month's worth of just building your standard operating procedures and what that looks like…Going forward, we're looking at ways to make your pharmacy med sync, a opt out model, not an opt in, so you're in control of that enrollment and you're better able to change the way your business model is. We kind of dig into how pharmacies can best achieve that and really maximize it…
As far as PS3 goes for pharmacy service support staff, we really at the beginning of this year dug into exactly what practice transformation is—what it means when we say flip the pharmacy. Going forward, we're looking at different chronic disease states. So, if you have a service that you're offering in your pharmacy or a technician that wants to get more involved in diabetes care…just a way to look at it from a different lens for technicians.
Drug Topics: How does Workflow Wednesdays adapt to the evolving needs and challenges of pharmacists and pharmacy staff in today's healthcare landscape?
Capps: These webinars are done by pharmacy technicians and pharmacists and people who are actually in it. The day-to-day challenges or upcoming things we all talk about, or we're hearing about the DIR cliff or the hangover that's coming. We're better able to prepare not just for the topics to present, but making sure they're timely and things that can help pharmacies today…To the point of the DIR cliff, what's something that pharmacies can do today to increase their cash flow? A lot of pharmacies don't realize that the money that's sitting on your shelf can be in your bank account come Q1 of 2024. The best way to optimize your inventory is a med sync program.
Drug Topics: If pharmacist wanted to know more about Workflow Wednesdays or how to get involved, what resources are available to support their participation in the program?
Capps: Everything is open access…so anybody can access these resources. There’s a content library where you can find all of the registration links to get involved in the live webinars. You can also find the change packages, the progressions, and all of the resources from the previous 5 years of Flip the Pharmacy, not just workflow Wednesdays.
Drug Topics: How are the upcoming DIR fee changes going to impact independent pharmacies and are there any particular challenges that you think will be more difficult to overcome?
Capps: I think it is based on the pharmacy and your insurance. So, if you're more heavy on one insurance, that's maybe a little worse versus the other. These DIR fees that you're accumulating now, they're moving those to the point of sale at the beginning of 2024. But you're still going to have those retroactive fees. You're not going to get that upfront cash flow coming in.
Come end of March, early April, you're going to get hit with DIR fees that were from the end of 2023. If you don't have a reserve or a piggy bank that's ready, then where are we finding that? Is that going to be in these enhanced services that we're getting paid for outside of just dispensing? Or is that going to be really looking at your shelves and increasing those inventory turns? People don't realize just how much money is sitting on those shelves when you total up. You don't want it sitting there. If your wholesaler can hold those prescriptions and you hold your money in the bank and use it where you need it.
Drug Topics: How can pharmacists utilize medicine to increase their cash flow ahead of the DIR fee changes?
Capps: Outside of just inventory, there's so many opportunities within med sync. Med sync is the foundation for the appointment based model. If we're going away from just the dispensing and counting and filling prescriptions and we're going to go into more longitudinal patient care, what does that look like? Once you've got that appointment date, you're able to call—and again, your technicians can do this, it does not have to be a pharmacist—and go over the medications with the patient and then also offer other services. For example, immunizations, if you're looking ahead of time at a patient's profile, then you can see it, you can check the immunization registry. Is there a vaccine that they need? Offer that if you offer it in your pharmacy. That’s increased cash flow. Then you've got other opportunities for services that you provide. Can you do a sit down and do a CMR or a health screening?
Drug Topics: Are there any other steps that you think pharmacists should be taking to be prepared for the upcoming DIR fee changes?
Capps: That's a really good question, because now we're getting really close to the beginning of 2024. If you haven't taken steps to implement services, or really streamline your workflow outside of just maximizing your med sync program and finding the revenue opportunities that you have already at your disposal, if you're not affiliated with CPESN, definitely look into your local network because each state has different payer programs and opportunities that you may be missing out on that is outside of your prescription claims.