EVERY RETAIL OPERATION WANTSto stand out in the minds of its customers,so the pharmacies in Safewaystores make their mark by emphasizingpharmaceutical services. "We area very service-oriented company," said Brian Hille, RPh, director ofpharmacy care, Houston, Tex. "Weemphasize the convenience of thepharmacy in Safeway stores. Our programsare centered on health andwellness; we want to keep our customershealthy."
Safeway offers a variety of pharmacycare services, he explained.Key programs include the flu vaccinationcampaign, disease statescreenings, and medication therapymanagement programs. As part ofthe flu vaccination program, pharmacistsadminister shots and conductin-store flu clinics throughoutthe season.
Safeway has also partnered withthe American Diabetes Association(ADA) to sponsor the ADA DiabetesExpo, which gives pharmacistsan opportunity to counsel thepublic about this disease and providescreenings, said Hille. TheExpo is targeted at all patients withdiabetes and their loved ones, heexplained. "The pharmacists providepatients with informationabout management of diabetes aswell as testing devices. They canshow patients how different deviceswork. In addition, dietitians areavailable to talk to patients aboutnutrition; podiatrists inform patientshow to take care of their feet;in some expos, dentists focus ondental care and ophthalmologistson eye care."
Safeway pharmacists have anunprecedented opportunity to enhancepatient care and build new revenuestreams based not on dispensing,but on assuring safe and effectivemedication use through the latestprogram called Medication TherapyManagement (MTM), said Hille."The MTM program is an importantpart of Safeway's business strategy. Itincludes face-to-face consultationabout patients' therapy through aone-on-one interaction between thepatient and thepharmacist that canlast as long as anhour," he said. "Foryears, I have heardthe profession talkabout getting paidfor cognitive serviceson a widespreadbasis. Now it's comingtrue," said Hille.
What makes Safeway attractive tothe new pharmacist? Hille says "it'sour work environment. We willattract the pharmacists who want towork with the public. It's more thancount, pour, lick, and stick. We areoffering services that are beyond thestandard community practice. Thepharmacists are going to get a chanceto deliver these patient care servicesto their patients."
Ms. Rosendahl is a freelance writer basedin Fort Lee, NJ.