Part 1: Making "The Call"
One big opposition to pharmacist-led medication therapy management (MTM) is lack of resources; usually in the form of too few staff or not enough time during dispensing. In past articles, I have shared a few patient marketing materials to help generate patient interest in your pharmacy's MTM services. However, until patients are beating down our doors and standing in line for CMRs you will have to call your patient list.
This is a duty that can be entrusted to a technician or a support staff member. Integrating MTM into an already packed workflow is definitely a challenge, but as always there are ways that we can find to work through it. While clinical judgment pertaining to MTM should absolutely be the sole responsibility of the pharmacist, not every aspect of MTM requires professional judgment. Some of the organizational and clerical aspects of MTM scheduling can be delegated to the pharmacy technicians.
How can pharmacy technicians help complete Comprehensive Medication Reviews (CMRs)?
The most time-consuming part of the MTM encounter, in most pharmacists experience, is the booking and scheduling of the appointment. There are different tactics and offers that can be made to the patient in order to help get them to agree to come in to the pharmacy for a CMR appointment. A well trained pharmacy staff member can usually get just as many or more “Yes” answers to the CMR offer.
Who should I ask to help me complete my CMR cases?
Usually, I try to identify the staff member with the best customer service skills. Most pharmacies have that one tech that has a very special relationship with the patients. The technician or staff member can be taught about MTM and can learn how to offer the patient the CMR appointment. Many times a customer’s favorite technician will be more likely to get a “Yes” when an MTM eligible patient is identified. Delegating “the call” to a trusted technician can help build an MTM program and allows the pharmacy to work together towards a common goal.
That goal, in case you are wondering, is a 76% CMR completion rate.
This is the goal you will have to achieve to receive a 5 star rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
How do I train support staff to call patients?
I use a simple training call script (download below) to help teach pharmacy staff members how to approach a CMR offer. You are welcome to use it, try it and alter it to find the wording that works best for your pharmacy and your patients. Once staff has been trained, access can be made to a pharmacy-wide scheduling software that we will examine in Part 2 of this series. Now go out there rock MTM in 2016!
Now you have a goal, so go out there and achieve it!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent MTM consultant pharmacist. She is the founder of BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC. and works with pharmacists to create and build clinical services programs. More information about Dr. Thielemier and BT Pharmacy Consulting, LLC can be found at http://btpharmacyconsulting.com