Whole Health Pharmacy: Partners


Case Overview

Patients often request refills for prescriptions on an unaligned schedule in Whole Health Pharmacy. This can lead to decreased adherence and pharmacy efficiency. It also causes longer wait times and reduces the time pharmacists have to provide clinical services. Patients will likely become more complex with their medication and less likely to adhere to them as Canada ages and suffers from chronic diseases.

Alternative pharmacy workflow models are being implemented in pharmacies across the United States to improve patient compliance and decrease the number of visits required to the pharmacy. The Appointment-Based model (ABM) is one example. ABM allows patients to take their Craigslist Redding medication supplies in one visit, shifting the workflow from reactive to proactive. ABM gives pharmacists the chance to offer clinical services on a regular basis. John Sykora, a California pharmacist, created the model in 1995. The ABM’s popularity has increased significantly over the past decade in the United States.

The ABM has been proven to be effective in improving medication adherence, refills, efficiency of pharmacies, patient satisfaction, and clinical services. The ABM implementation in Canada is much less than it was in the United States.

Whole Health Pharmacy Partners (WHPP), a pharmacy alliance of independent community pharmacies across Canada, has a dominant presence in Ontario. Select Whole Health locations began using the ABM in September 2017. It is called the Wellness+ ABM Program. Two key components make up the Wellness+ ABM Program.

Key Elements

First, it was important to have program developers and implementers. To guide and manage program implementation in independent pharmacies, tools and resources were created, including video tutorials, program manuals and marketing tools.

A second aspect of success was a commitment to improving patient-centered care. Patients were informed about the program’s potential benefits and offered the chance to enroll. Because the workflow model is proactive, pharmacists have more time to monitor patient compliance and schedule in-person visits to discuss patients’ health goals and needs.

Impact on patient outcomes

Data were obtained from three independent pharmacies in the Whole Health banner of Ontario. The program enrolled a total of 131 patients.

Roles of Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician

Whole Health Pharmacy Partners’ management team and pharmacists developed the ABM+ Wellness program. After receiving extensive training on the Wellness+ program, independent pharmacies in the banner implemented this program.

The program was explained to patients by pharmacists and pharmacy assistants. They also enrolled patients and scheduled appointments. The pharmacists made sure that the prescriptions were in sync and available for patients on the scheduled appointment date. They also conducted one-on-one clinical visits with patients.