Setting the Scene
Stephanie Stephens, Pharm D, is pharmacy operations supervisor for all ambulatory care at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia. Responsible for everything and everyone outpatient medication touches, she supports 42 provider-based departments, two emergency departments, two infusion centers, USP 800, a skilled nursing unit, an infusion pharmacy, two retail organizations (HIMG and St. Mary’s Pharmacies) … and a partridge in a pear tree.
Huntington is home to roughly 20,000 people, including students and faculty at Marshall University, and borders Kentucky and Ohio, whose residents it also serves.
Up until last year, St. Mary’s pharmacy was located in the hospital and open only to staff during limited day-shift hours. Stephens had the vision to expand service to the community, extend hours and grow volume, while also building out a meds to beds program. “I knew I needed something to streamline the workflow – a lighted bag system,” she said.
Stephens did her research. “I wanted something that was easy to use; easy to train on. We have some rotation in staff, and I wanted to make sure both pharmacists and technicians were comfortable using the devices.
“I also evaluated the complexity of the solution itself. We looked at another one that had to have specific bars that connected with the bags and if you didn’t hang it up just perfectly…
“We ultimately decided on scripClip. Everything about it is more conducive and user friendly. And the monthly cost is much lower; over time, you save money.”
Embracing the Solution
St. Mary’s Pharmacy reopened in a new public location across the street in October 2021. Both it and HIMG were both outfitted with scripClip.
HIMG continues to fill approximately 150 prescriptions per day and St. Mary’s volume has more than doubled year over year to 300 per day, validating the community need.
The staff at both locations – a total of four pharmacists and ten technicians – can feel a big difference and has nothing but good things to say about scripClip. “At first, they had a little bit of anxiety about trusting the system to find the bags, but now they freak out about the idea of not having it,” Stephens remembered.
“scripClip cuts down on time hanging prescriptions up because you don’t have to worry about specific alphabetical order. And we have many patients whose family members have prescriptions with us. We can pull up everyone in the family [in the software application] and retrieve all the scripClips at the same time, which saves a lot of time as well. Plus, we save hours doing return to stock.”
Stephens’ team is “extremely pleased” with how things are working and plans to continue promoting and growing both retail pharmacies. First step: going house-wide with St. Mary’s meds-to-beds program that they’ve piloted with 1/6 of the hospital so far.
“It definitely helps having scripClip in place. I’m very happy with the choice I made, especially when I look at complexity of others on the market,” Stephens said. “It frees up our pharmacists and technicians’ to be able to provide excellent patient service.”