Grove Park Pharmacy is one of, now, four Orange Cut Rate Drug Stores that got their start in South Carolina in 1934. Over nearly 90 years and three generations, the operation has grown to include traditional retail pharmacy, medical equipment sales, nursing home services, an on-site medical clinic, home health and more. And the scripClip will-call automation system has become essential to their operation, explains Courtney Polin, pharmacy manager:
Grove Park Pharmacy, Orange Cut Rate’s primary retail location, was opened by Charles Thompson, RPh, in 1984 – 50 years after his father opened the first store in downtown Orangeburg.
Courtney manages the pharmacy staff, including five pharmacists and six to eight technicians on any given day. They average 1200 prescriptions per day and are complemented in the store by respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, long-term care pharmacists and other patient-focused staff.
This team serves one of the most poverty-stricken areas of South Carolina, which is also home to the one of the largest numbers of diabetic patients per capita in the US. As such, Grove Park Pharmacy plays a tremendous role in access to necessary diabetes medication, including free home delivery, medication synchronization (medi-sync) and overall treatment plan adherence.
They installed their first will-call automation system in 2013, but it wasn’t meeting their demands for consistency. “We were knowledgeable about a bag system,” Courtney said. “We needed one that actually lit up when you clicked the button.”
She illustrated how much research she and the owner did to find the perfect solution that used radio frequency rather than infrared to locate customer orders – increasing will-call retrieval reliability from “roughly 65% to well over 99%.” They finally installed scripClip in early 2020 – just before the pandemic.
Installation of scripClip wasn’t instantaneous; it took a few late nights to transition more than 1,000 prescriptions in will call to the new system and implement a new workflow. Still, it didn’t take longer than that for the Grove Park Pharmacy crew to see its value – particularly for medi-sync and home delivery programs.
In late 2021, Courtney’s team also changed pharmacy management systems to PioneerRx. Fortunately, scripClip didn’t skip a beat. “It was seamless!”
scripClip’s value is magnified by two unique things Courtney’s team does:
- Color-coding by order type – They use scripClip’s multi-colored point-of-sale (POS) computer colors to signify different stations in the pharmacy, rather than individual users. Pink is for pick-up; green is for drive-through; orange is for pharmacy; and blue is for medi-sync. That way, everyone in the pharmacy knows to say, for example, “we have a pick-up order in the back,” instead of having several employees searching for scripClips at the same time or violating privacy by shouting out a patient’s name.
- Pre-verification process, with a person entirely dedicated to printing and bagging prescriptions – “We assign the order to a scripClip at data entry. As soon as a prescription comes in electronically, we process the claim, a tech fills it, and we have a pharmacist pre-check it to ensure we have the right patient, doctor, drug and quantity. From there, the label is printed and put in the bag. So, as soon as it’s filled and printed, you can find that patient’s scripClip anywhere in the pharmacy.”
The printing technician will also add any new prescriptions to existing scripClips by illuminating them in the will-call, delivery or big-bag areas, which ensures that delivery drivers or patients coming to the pharmacy only have to make one trip for all their medications.
“Before getting more patients on medi-sync and using scripClip to combine orders and efficiently coordinate deliveries, we were making multiple deliveries a month – sometimes multiple trips a day – to customers across the city,” Courtney said.
Time savings and patient safety sum up scripClip’s ROI for Grove Park Pharmacy.
“One of my favorite things is that you can hit a button for return to stock (RTS) and all the bags light up. That is fantastic!” Courtney exclaimed. She notes other reporting functionality not available in other will-call systems.
Her team can do RTS every morning in about 10 minutes. Previously, they’d go through every single bag in will call based on a printed report that was not always accurate. “It would take all day in between helping patients and filling orders to get that done.”
The fact that only one patient can be assigned to a scripClip is especially important to Courtney too. “If a patient’s name doesn’t match, an alert pops up.” This feature helps her team catch potential errors and learn from them.
Just this year, Grove Park Pharmacy started a home health program in collaboration with a local hospital, after seeing how much patients were struggling to understand their discharge papers, what medications to start and stop taking, etc. “We are in a special position to help reduce readmissions to hospitals if we can help patients understand their medications and how to take them,” Courtney explained, and scripClip frees them up to confidently provide more personalized clinical service.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have the reassurance that scripClip’s tech support team is available 24/7. “All I have to do is call and they fix all my problems,” Courtney said.