Enabling Community Pharmacies to Succeed

Three ways McKesson helps community pharmacies navigate the evolving healthcare landscape.

Read time: 5 minutes

Pharmacists play a critical role in providing care within our communities. In fact, nine out of ten Americans have access to a brick-and-mortar pharmacy – and with the rise of digital healthcare solutions - they also now have access right from their smartphones.

Today’s patients want a customized healthcare experience that meets their needs, even if they can’t meet face-to-face with their local pharmacist or technician. As a result, many independent pharmacies are rapidly reinventing their virtual and in-person care models to meet these increasing needs.

That’s where Health Mart steps in.

Part of McKesson, Health Mart is the nation’s fastest-growing independent pharmacy franchise with approximately 5,000 locations. For pharmacies that opt into the franchise, the program grants them access to innovative solutions and tools that help them improve pharmacy operations and clinical performance to better meet patients’ needs.

Health Mart pharmacies have access to tools to administer vaccines and point of care tests as well as tools they can use to help customers understand their prescription-drug coverage, how to safely manage multiple medications, and how to take advantage of lower-cost medication options.

Explore a few of the ways Health Mart remains a trusted partner for pharmacies and patients nationwide.

Digital Offerings for the Modern Patient

Patients expect a digital front door into health-related services at their local pharmacy – seeking an experience that mirrors the rest of their lives: omnichannel, omnipresent and convenient. To meet this demand, Health Mart launched Health Mart Digital Pharmacy last year.

This new suite of digital services is designed to make life easier for community pharmacies and patients alike. The portfolio includes a consumer web portal and mobile application, to enhance pharmacy reach and patient outcomes through a multichannel online platform. The easy-to-navigate Health Mart Pro Mobile App also helps patients easily manage their medications, refill requests, and communicate with their pharmacy via two-way messaging.

“Quick, reliable communication is an opportunity for us to help patients stay on their medication,” says Jose Lugo, director, product development, for Health Mart. “The digital tools we’re rolling out for Health Mart pharmacies today will meaningfully impact patient care in the long term.”

Encouraging Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians to ‘Never Stop Learning’

Most Health Mart pharmacies increased their point-of-care testing services during COVID-19. However, even before the pandemic, there was a sharp spike in patient demand for access to more preventative care measures, like health screenings, and immunizations, from their local pharmacies.

To meet these expectations, pharmacists need to stay up to date with their education and trainings, so they can properly administer vaccines, boosters, flu shots and more to their patients.

That’s why Health Mart and pharmacy education expert, CEImpact, partnered to create Health Mart University, a solution that delivers education that caters to pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ needs and is offered around their busy schedules.

Health Mart University has over 100 online courses that expand clinical and operational knowledge, plus standard compliance courses such as Bloodborne Pathogens, HIPAA, Medicare Parts C and D and Compliance. Continuing Education courses are also routinely added, allowing pharmacists and technicians to maintain their licenses and credentials.

Additionally, through McKesson ideaShare, an annual event that promotes opportunities for current and independent pharmacists to connect and learn, valuable Continuing Education courses are also available in-person during the event and on-demand after the event.

Establishing Pharmacies as Care Centers

Health systems around the world struggled to respond to COVID-19. In response, the U.S. government expanded pharmacists’ authority to test and immunize, and pharmacists answered the call and filled critical care gaps, with more than 247 million vaccines administered in pharmacies across the nation.

Unfortunately, pharmacy services are not reimbursed in the same way as other healthcare providers’ services. When the current public health emergency (PHE) declaration ends for COVID-19, pharmacists may no longer be able to provide the same services Americans have come to rely on during the pandemic. This will impact millions of Americans, especially those living in rural and medically underserved areas.

That’s why McKesson is one of the founding partners of the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition, an organization comprised of American healthcare companies and professional associations dedicated to creating a more equitable and accessible care experience for patients. The coalition advocates for federal policy solutions that recognize the critical role pharmacists play to care for patients and enable a more just and sustainable healthcare system.

Looking Ahead

“As an impact-driven organization, we’re focused on transforming our approach to be the right partner, advocate and voice for Health Mart pharmacies,” Eyad Farah, president, Health Mart & Health Mart Atlas states. “Whether the goal is to elevate digital performance, gain quality professional education, or advocate for the patient, Health Mart is committed to strengthening the overall health of pharmacies and elevating the role they play in in their communities.”

While the pace of change may be quickly accelerating in the pharmacy landscape, Health Mart is well-positioned to guide and support pharmacists through this new era, especially as the pandemic evolves. Pharmacists and pharmacy owners interested in learning more can learn more at join.healthmart.com.