“Sprucing Up” Will-Call Workflows and Patient Safety

“My vision for pharmacy is different and that’s what I developed Spruce Mountain Pharmacy to be,” said owner Steve Maki.

Community Pharmacy with a Mission

Steve Maki had been working as a pharmacist at an enterprise retail chain store in Maine for nearly 12 years when he said to himself, “There’s a better way to practice pharmacy and I’m going to go find it.”

In 2009, he opened Spruce Mountain Pharmacy and hasn’t looked back. Now, he employs two part-time pharmacists in addition, five technicians and a student, in addition to working full-time himself.

Despite the many challenges presented in the industry – from COVID to DIR fees – Maki is committed to rising above and finding solutions that support his staff and customers.

“Do you look at it as a challenge that’s going to stop you, or is it going to be an opportunity for you to excel and do something better?” Maki explained. “[For example, the pandemic] gave us a chance to really look at where we are, what best practices are, what we have learned, and how we can creatively apply it to move forward.”

Eliminating Errors and Wasted Time

Part of ‘moving forward’ for Maki is continually striving to better his pharmacy practice with technologies like scripClip will-call automation.

spruce mountain pharmacy“The time-saving innovation just struck a chord with me,” after seeing a demonstration in 2018, he said. “Every additional safeguard to help a small independent pharmacy get the right drug to the right patient matters.”

Many of Maki’s customers have similar names. Having a reliable system to check the patient name and date of birth to make the right bag flash wherever it is in the pharmacy offered “a huge sense of security.”

“I don’t know how many times in the old store, before getting scripClip, we’d have two or three staff members digging for bags, saying, ‘Well, I thought I checked it,’ ‘I thought it was here,’ ‘I haven’t seen it,’ ‘It’s supposed to be there’…” Now that doesn’t happen.

Seeing the Difference


Minimized risk and improved efficiency have made the scripClip investment well worthwhile – especially as Spruce Mountain Pharmacy has expanded services.

“COVID kicked [vaccination services] into overdrive,” Maki said. His approach has always been to offer whatever services his patients need, including expanded point-of-care testing, diabetic education and nutrition.

“There’s definitely a higher level of clinical and cognitive services pharmacies can give,” he explained. Because primary care providers are just as stressed as pharmacies, “pharmacists and providers are going to have to work together to solve the problem” and provide patient care – holding one another accountable; making sure everyone is on the same page. “We need to put systems in place to make sure we’re not overlapping or duplicating therapy for patients.”

scripClip creates a verifiable chain of custody from drug dispensing to the point of sale, and also helps with Spruce Mountain’s inventory control and customer service.

The return-to-stock function “makes life so much easier” – allowing staff members to just click a few buttons and light up 20 bags at once. “I remember in the old days, return to stock was a nightmare scenario,” Maki said.

“There have also been times when we use the neat NDC-search feature to find a drug needed for a patient waiting for a partial fill.”

Without a doubt, Spruce Mountain Pharmacy is ready to support whatever industry or customer needs arise, and they’re grateful to continue relying on scripClip will-call automation technology as their scope and volumes grow.

spruce mountain will call