The new outpatient pharmacy’s sole purpose is to fill prescriptions and to provide information to properly administer these medications for best results. Before this, the nearest 24/7 pharmacy was in Rochester, New Hampshire. Now, patients receiving care at the medical center’s emergency department and other outpatient clinics will have the opportunity to fill their prescriptions immediately.

Brian Marden, Senior Pharmacy Director at Maine Medical Center, enthusiastically endorsed the Visante consultants’ work. “We have been incredibly impressed with the professionalism and expertise that the entire Visante team has demonstrated throughout our partnership with them.”

Until this new facility opened, patients who were discharged following surgery or other care, had no way to fill their prescriptions at the medical center or had difficulty getting prescriptions filled in a timely manner. To make matters worse, it was determined that about a third of all discharges were not getting their prescriptions filled after they left the hospital. Those that did get to a pharmacy tended to miss important doses of medications while waiting to have their prescriptions filled. For those patients living in rural parts of Maine, many did not have a drugstore nearby and were reluctant to travel after their procedures.

Patients using the new pharmacy are already expressing their approval of the convenience and family members have commented that learning more about the medications prescribed and how to take them properly has been very helpful.

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Visante’s Approach to Expanding Pharmacy Opportunities at MMC

Under the project management of Greg Burger, Visante Senior Director, a team specializing in retail pharmacy operations, 340B Drug Discount Program, medication reconciliation, specialty pharmacy, and pharmacotherapy education was deployed to conduct a detailed assessment of current services and operations.

In their preliminary report, Visante consultants identified a number of new service opportunities including establishing a high-value ambulatory care pharmacy program that could rapidly return its investment to the medical center while greatly improving care to patients.

MMC’s leadership decided to spend $1 million to renovate space inside the hospital near the front entrance to house the new pharmacy. “What really impressed me about this assignment was MMC’s focus to do what was best for their patients from the start,” Burger remarked.

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Greg summarized the entire team’s feelings about the project. “We have really enjoyed our collaboration at Maine Medical Center to design and build their new ambulatory pharmacy program. Our goal was always to come alongside and create a program that really met their professional staff’s needs.” This new state-of-the-art pharmacy will continue to provide a critical service for patients, thus increasing their overall experience and satisfaction while improving their care.

MMC very pleased with staff response and the public enthusiastic acceptance of this new facility and has approved additional new pharmacy services to be implemented with Visante’s assistance. This year the medical center will hire 10 additional pharmacists and 25 pharmacy technicians to staff the 24/7 outpatient pharmacy and to assist with other programs intended to reduce avoidable readmissions and cut down on unnecessary health care costs.

Click here to read the article published in Pharmacy Purchasing & Products about how Brian Marden, PharmD, senior director of pharmacy at MMC and Andrea Lai, PharmD, director of ambulatory care pharmacy services, were able to bring about improved access to medications and medication education at their health system in Maine.