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“[We are] always looking for ways to be innovative and be pioneers in the pharmacy industry.”
Pharmacy manager Jessica Eshleman and the rest of the team at Gwinnett Drugs in Lawrenceville, GA are redefining what it means to be a community pharmacy. “Our big goal is to go from a product based company to more of a service based company. . .we’re trying to take it to the next level and find ways to get reimbursed for our clinical knowledge and get reimbursed for providing proper patient care,” explains Eshleman.
Though they aren’t the only independent pharmacy in their area, Gwinnett Drugs stands apart due to their advanced clinical services – as well as an on-site sterile compounding lab. They have developed a strong involvement in their community and utilize their specialized training at a higher level through services such as chronic care management (CCM), remote patient monitoring (RPM), and Meds to Beds. They are taking their knowledge outside the pharmacy walls to improve overall patient outcomes.
Gwinnett’s focus on high level care and building relationships within the community has positioned them to provide greater value to their patients and supplement their overall health. Owner Naveed Tharwani has established a powerful practice of collaborative care by working with several physicians and clinics in their area, including a psychiatric outpatient facility and a large pain clinic in Georgia. “Naveed has a lot of good rapport with the local physicians and so we were able to really talk with them and allow them to see huge benefits of having pharmacists collaborate with them in order to help not only with medication management, but also some disease state management,” Eshleman remarks.
Utilizing PioneerRx software has helped the team at Gwinnett with facilitating their additional services. PioneerRx allows them to assign health coaches for more personalized patient care and also allows for tracking proper documentation across all steps of their collaborative services. Eshleman describes how documentation is mutually beneficial for both the patient and their pharmacists. It ensures that everyone in contact with a patient’s care is up-to-date on what actions have been taken as well as any relevant medical history. On the other hand, it also streamlines reimbursement by tracking every step where the pharmacist is going the extra mile to add value to their patient care.
When asked about what advice she would give to pharmacists looking to expand their clinical services, Eshleman has one word: Education. “I personally was trained by Amina and Olivia at the Avant Institute, and took their entire ALIE (Advanced Learning Immersion Experience) course,” says Eshleman.
“And I tell you from experience, we tried to go and do this ourselves. . . by just thinking we had a good understanding of what chronic care management is and what clinical services pharmacists could offer. But after that entire course, my eyes opened up 100 times. I don’t think we would necessarily have the proper tools in place if we didn’t have such a good education foundation with them.”
She and her team are continuously educating themselves in the changing climate of pharmacy, and looking for ways to expand the services they can offer. And their passion does not go unnoticed – they are respected and acknowledged by their community for all the ways they go above and beyond for their patients.