If you look up the phrase “thinking outside the box” in any dictionary of expressions, don’t be surprised to find a picture of my friend Don Grove. He is a pharmacist, pharmacy owner and entrepreneur who is literally changing the face of retail pharmacy through his innovation and “out of the box” approach to retail pharmacy workflow. And it’s working. His new concepts in workflow have enabled him to increase efficiency and prescription output, improve employee job satisfaction, expand patient interactions and reduce errors.
I was, therefore, extremely pleased to be able to talk Don into sharing some of his ideas and concepts with my readers. Please join me in welcoming my friend and fellow-pharmacist Don Grove to our little corner of the internet here at The Honest Apothecary!
1) Don, thanks for talking to my readers about pharmacy workflow issues. First, could you tell us a little about yourself and your career as a pharmacist?
Thank you for the interview and your time. I am 67 and graduated in 1971 before computers, the Internet, IVR systems, medication carts and bubble packing in nursing homes and drive up windows. By 1974 we had introduced all of these in our pharmacies so most consider our operation a pioneer in pharmacy. I am not that smart but I recognize paradigm shifts in healthcare very early and adopt them with my own spin on increasing value for our patients. My first pharmacy was Grove Pharmacy, started and purchased from my father. Over the years I opened 2 more pharmacies in smaller towns and now run one in Warsaw, Mo and my pharmacist brother still owns 2 pharmacies in Springfield, MO.
2) Could you tell us a little about your pharmacy? How long has J&D Pharmacy been operating?
It was opened in 1979 as a 2nd pharmacy 2 hours from Springfield and I had others run it for about 10 years. In 1990 I remarried and moved to Warsaw with my new family and fully committed to this pharmacy and have been here personally for the last 24 years. In 2004 we built a 28,000 sq. ft. medical building that holds our pharmacy and HME store and we have another HME store 35 miles north.
3) I specifically was hoping you would talk to us about pharmacy workflow. Some of my readers may not understand what that means. Could you give them a description of what we mean by pharmacy work flow?
The normal definition of work flow (W.F.) is the flow or progress of work done by a company, industry, department, or person and sometimes it specifically refers to the rate of such flow or progress. Our definition is: assigning the correct employees with the right IT systems in a modern redesigned environment which will minimize turbulence and maximize output and employee attitude thereby eliminating errors caused by loss of focus through unnecessary interruptions. I have expanded the definition to include the words “redesign maximization” since W.F. limits the discussion and in our industry usually only refers to the function of computer software. A simple definition would be everything that happens from receiving the doctor’s Rx to the patient getting the medication. But there is so much more. Never set limits on W.F. There are many different parts required to make it come full circle within the pharmacy and bring a positive effect to your profit and loss statement.
Buy why is workflow so important for the community pharmacy? Tune in TOMORROW to hear Don answer that question!
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