New Outpatient Pharmacy Location and Accreditation Accolades
Plans are underway to open a Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) retail pharmacy at the Centerra Marketplace in Lebanon, with a 24-hour drive-through for added convenience. The construction permit was filed with the City of Lebanon in September and doors will open to the public in late winter/early spring.
The new, 3,100 square-foot pharmacy will be open to everyone including D-H employees, patients and the community and will serve as a convenient location to those who need to fill a prescription in the Upper Valley.
“We recognize that we are the busiest non-24-hour pharmacy in New Hampshire, filling about 800 prescriptions per day, but we lack having the convenient parking for everyone,” says Linda Sawyer, director of Ambulatory Pharmacy. “With this new pharmacy, our goal is to provide greater accessibility and convenience to our customers.”
The D-H Pharmacy at Centerra will also be a source for vaccines; staff will be able to administer any vaccine approved for administration by the New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy such as influenza, shingles and pneumococcal. Customers will also be able to select from a wider selection of skin care/dermatology products for sun protection and healthy aging.
Specialty Pharmacy receives full accreditation
Additionally, D-H recently received full accreditation as a specialty pharmacy by the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission. For patients, Sawyer likens this distinction to a “gold seal of approval” by an outside agency. “This accreditation also gives D-H access to some of the closed prescription benefit management networks that we did not have access to before, and demonstrates the value we are delivering in these very specialized clinical services,” she says.
Sawyer notes that D-H’s specialty pharmacy services are linked to eD-H (D-H’s electronic health record system), which makes it easier for providers and nursing staff to track prescriptions. Patients who need specialty prescriptions will no longer have to go to an outside pharmacy, but can use the services of the D-H pharmacy team. They strive to ensure the lowest cost to patients by processing prescriptions through third-party insurance companies, Sawyer says, and then work to reduce the copay amount by accessing patient financial assistance networks or coupon cards.
“This is really improving patient care because we’re enabling them to quickly fill their prescriptions here in the hospital, we’re helping them save money on their prescriptions and we’re shortening the PA [prior authorization] time,” Sawyer says. “We are also creating new revenue for the hospital, which is great.”
The accreditation process took nearly 18 months, and was done without the help of an outside consultant. “It was an all-out effort for everyone in the department, and I’m extremely proud that we passed with a score of 100 percent,” Sawyer says. “It was a very labor-intensive process, but we are a better pharmacy as a result.”