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Patients seek answers and hope from their care providers. But, too often, before a specialty prescription reaches the patient, there is waiting and uncertainty rather than a prompt start to therapy.

In a recent conversation with Katie Reeves, Senior Product Manager at Accredo specialty pharmacy, and Andrew Mellin, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer at Surescripts, we heard how progress is being made to create a better experience for prescribers, specialty pharmacists, and most importantly, patients.

Listen Now: Striving for a Streamlined Specialty Experience

The challenges Mellin describes on the episode of the “UN-scripted” podcast sound stuck in the 19th century.

“Someone is literally looking at a screen where the data's documented, handwriting it on a paper form, sticking it in a fax machine, dialing a number, going into the specialty pharmacy system where then someone re-transcribes it into their electronic system,” Mellin says. “It's kind of crazy.”

But today’s new technology solutions for specialty pharmacies like Accredo are making a noticeable, positive impact on the specialty experience.

“When you ask me whether this process in the future could be as easy as going down to the corner drug store, I don’t think it will ever be that easy. But we can make it feel that easy by leveraging the technology that’s available today.”

Katie Reeves

Senior Product Manager, Accredo

By using technology like Specialty Medications Gateway to retrieve clinical information directly from the patient's EHR without the need to contact the prescriber, Accredo’s pharmacists and staff avoid phone calls, faxes and paperwork. As a result, Accredo decreased its time to fill by more than two days, with an accompanying 44% decrease in phone calls to prescribers for missing clinical data, and a 14% improvement in dispense rate.

“Technology can make the process easier,” Reeves says. “And Surescripts has been a great partner in helping us become an early adopter of new specialty-focused technology. It’s brought us into the 21st century.”

If technology can eliminate just one stack of paper forms, one illegible fax, one more outreach by phone to check on a prior authorization, it’s a win for everyone—not least the patient.

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