peer perspectives

Hemmingsen Drug Store

August 6, 2018

Hemmingsen Drug Store was established in 1936 and had served Marshall, Michigan, for 80 years prior to Chris and Mindy Munden purchasing the pharmacy in 2016. As the fourth owners of the business, the couple knew they had an important legacy to uphold, but they were also driven to evolve the pharmacy so it could continue serving the community with the highest level of service.

Opportunity

Chris and Mindy were both pharmacists and perennial ThoughtSpot attendees. They had heard Jason Turner, owner of Moundsville Pharmacy in West Virginia, speak on numerous occasions about medication synchronization. After settling in as the new owners of Hemmingsen Drug Store, they quickly realized how much their patients and their pharmacy could benefit from such a program. They recognized how their reactive workflow was causing long lines at the counter during their busiest times—to the point where Chris was contemplating the addition of another cash register and a new full-time employee to man it. More importantly, it was also limiting their ability to help patients take medication correctly.

Every day we were finding either adherence issues or instances where someone should be taking a medication that they weren’t at all, whether it had fallen through the cracks or the doctor hadn’t prescribed it for some reason.

Chris Munden, Hemmingsen Drug Store

Solution

Medication synchronization was the key to implementing a proactive workflow, where the team at Hemmingsen Drug Store could evaluate each patient’s whole profile once a month and align their medications to be picked up all at the same time. In early November 2017, Chris took a few of his staff members on a road trip to Moundsville, West Virginia, for an in-person training session with fellow Good Neighbor Pharmacy member Jason Turner. Seeing a successful med sync program in action gave them the insight they needed to roll out their own program in less than a month. Chris had a big meeting with his entire staff to explain why this evolution was so essential, and by December 1st they were signing up patient after patient right at the window.

If your patients take all their medications, they’re going to benefit from it. That’s the bottom line. Obviously, there’s the business component too. If someone is only filling their prescription 6 times during the year compared to 12, there’s an economic impact on our business. The two go hand in hand, but for us it comes down to our patients. How do we improve their pharmacy experience? And ultimately, how do we improve their outcomes? Because that’s what we’re all in it for.

Chris Munden, Hemmingsen Drug Store

Outcome

Before Chris and Mindy launched medication synchronization at their pharmacy, they set a lofty goal of getting half their total volume signed up for the program by the end of 2018. It didn’t take long for them to shatter expectations though. Staff enthusiasm and patient interest were so high they found themselves 120% to goal by July, which had a profound impact on patient experience right off the bat.

We’ve definitely seen a major improvement with our workflow. Since patients with maintenance medications only have to come in to the pharmacy once a month, we’re not only simplifying their lives, but we’ve also had more time to offer a higher level of service to the people who are in the store for immediate needs, like antibiotics.

Chris Munden, Hemmingsen Drug Store

Hemmingsen Drug Store is charging ahead, on pace to surpass their first-year goal early, and they’ve already seen an increase in their adherence performance. Patients are getting everything they need in one quick, convenient pharmacy visit every month, which has made it much easier for them to take their medications as prescribed. Now Chris is looking to take a more targeted approach to signing up patients. He plans on incorporating Patient Engagement Center targeting into the team’s workflow so they can identify specific individuals who are struggling with adherence and proactively encourage them to take advantage of this life-changing program.

60%
of volume signed up for med sync in only 6 months
20
estimated additional scripts filled per year for each synced patient

My advice to anyone contemplating med sync: Do it! You need to implement this. You need to invest. It’s hard work, but if you believe this is the best thing for the patient and the best thing for your business, you’re going to succeed.

Chris Munden, Hemmingsen Drug Store
Download the PDF

Hear more from the Mundens about how they became independent pharmacy owners and transformed their store into a one-of-a-kind healthcare destination.