Building Practices with Documentation for What Pharmacists Do
Care planning can increase pharmacy profits through efficiencies and through new revenue from payers that value what pharmacists do for patients, if they see the documentation of what has been done.
Pharmacists should document all that they do to help transform their practices and attract payers.
That was the takeaway from the session, “Care Planning: The Key to Thriving and Surviving” at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) 2019 Annual Convention in San Diego, California, on Monday, October 28.
Pharmacy system vendors are making care planning and documentation easier than ever before, according to Mark McCurdy, RPh, owner of Mark’s Pharmacy in Cambridge, Nebraska, who told attendees that he is no different than they are, except that his pharmacy decided to adopt a community wellness mentality 4 years ago and start documenting patient interactions.
He provided an overview of how care planning can increase pharmacy profits through efficiencies and through new revenue from payers that value what pharmacists do for patients, if they see the documentation of what has been done.
McCurdy focused on 3 things during the session: the elements of a care plan to document interactions with patients; strategies for implementing planning into a pharmacy’s workflow; and identifying the types of interventions that can be documented in a care plan.
“Who are you telling that you’re providing this patient care? Are you able to prove it?” McCurdy asked.
“You need to be able to get credit for what you’re doing” on the medical side, he said.
The payers want to know what value they get from pharmacists providing patient care.
“If you don’t document it, it didn’t happen. You have to put down in code how you’re taking care of these people,” McCurdy said.
Pharmacists have been engaging in uncompensated care for a long time, so it is time to document that the services they offer to patients are cheaper than them visiting a doctor or emergency department, he said.
“We’re very convenient for patients,” McCurdy said. “We’re very available for patients.”
It is key to get buy-in from everyone who works in the pharmacy.
“You need to engage everyone in your pharmacy with care planning,” McCurdy told the audience. “This is going to take everyone in your pharmacy to make this happen.”
McCurdy advised that pharmacists use systematized nomenclature of medicine — clinical terms (SNOMED) codes. SNOMED is a vocabulary of clinical terminology that is used by health care providers for the electronic exchange of clinical health information.
“If you’re recording a blood pressure, there’s a code for that. If you’re giving an immunization, there are codes for that.” McCurdy said.
In terms of care planning, it takes time to set up patients, but it is worth it, said McCurdy, who added that pharmacists might want to use employees, such as pharmacy technicians, to do some of this work.
McCurdy recommends that pharmacies use cheat sheets, codes, and screen shots of care plans to move forward.
He also says that pharmacies can look into automation of their processes
“There are vendors that will help manage this,” McCurdy said, though some solutions can also be managed in house.
Some types of care plan activities that can be documented are disease and medication education, dosing and dosing changes, and vaccinations.
“You can no longer rely on dispensing alone,” he said.
McCurdy M. Care Planning: The Key to Thriving and Surviving. Presented at: National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) 2019 Annual Convention; San Diego, California; October 28, 2019.