Portia Thompson recognized her close-knit community’s need for an independent pharmacy to offer integrated care and cost savings. And as prescription volume grew over four years, she quickly saw the need for an innovative will-call automation system to help her staff prevent errors and create better patient experiences.
Serving the Community
Portia Thompson founded The Pharm House in her hometown of Floyd, Virginia, in 2018. Floyd County had long had a community pharmacy until one of the nation’s leading retail pharmacy chains purchased it in 2017. Knowing the town and its history, and having previously worked at said chain, she saw the need for a new locally owned and operated pharmacy.
“I knew right away that our community would need its independent pharmacy back,” Thompson recalled. “We’re a very close-knit town. Being cognizant of how much money I could save each and every patient, and how the word would spread, was incredibly valuable.”
Thompson and just one other employee built The Pharm House from the ground up. They now have an average of 15 employees on staff, many of whom worked at the old Floyd Pharmacy and know their neighbors/patients well.
The Pharm House provides a number of services beyond filling prescriptions. They offer all vaccinations, medication synchronization programs, blister-packaging, non-sterile compounding for human and veterinary patients alike, and more.
Recognizing that much of the population can’t make it to town regularly, they provide free delivery. And, during the pandemic, The Pharm House started offering curbside service for prescription pick-up and COVID-19 testing.
It is clear Floyd County patients are at the center of everything Thompson and her team does.
Seizing the Will-Call Opportunity
When The Pharm House first opened, they used “old-school bins,” labeled A through Z, but “our will-call was outgrowing itself” as daily prescription volumes rose, Thomson explained. With so many prescriptions in will call, it was often difficult to find patient orders that were misfiled.
“Honestly it was embarrassing when you’d have a patient show up and you couldn’t find their prescription in the bin!” Thompson said, which prompted her to investigate smarter will-call solutions.
She first learned about scripClip at annual pharmacy management system (PMS) provider and wholesaler conferences and a few features stood out compared to other options:
– PMS connectivity
– Ease of return to stock
– Quick installation she could do on her own, without needing to renovate
“scripClip is awesome; it does its own thing. You don’t have to think too hard about it – and that’s the beauty of it,” Thomson said. “If you have the space, that’s really all you need!”
Seeing the Impact
The Pharm House went live with scripClip in May 2022. “It has been a really great implementation for our store – made things a lot faster,” said Thompson, especially as volumes have continued to grow.
“Our patients love it!” The light-up system that makes it super-easy for pharmacy staff to grab and verify the right prescription order at the point of sale is very impressive. “They think we’re the next best thing to The Jetsons,” she joked.
Thompson and The [futuristic] Pharm House will be celebrating five years in business this July.