Med sync, as seen on TV
A few weeks ago I flew to LA to tape a segment of The Doctors on medication synchronization, a simple service where the pharmacy coordinates patients’ refill schedule so they can pick up all of their medications at once. It aired last week. Check it out at https://www.thedoctorstv.com/articles/synchronize-your-health.
The show prefaced our segment with the story of Hillary, a woman juggling being a mother, caregiver, and employee, whose own health suffered as a result of being pulled in a thousand directions. So many of our patients struggle with the same issues.
We at APhA often talk about how important it is to tell your patients about the services we provide—immunization, medication management services (MMS), smoking cessation guidance—but it’s hard to fit all that into a rushed visit with a patient like Hillary, who probably has a couple of kids with her and needs to get back home to feed them or help them with their homework. Still, if patients don’t know med sync is available, they can’t take advantage of it.
Med sync is equally embraced by pharmacists, patients, and payers, a group who aren’t always on the same page. Evidence shows med sync increases adherence, simplifies the management of chronic diseases, and helps patients stay out of the hospital. And since patients are scheduled around the same time every month, pharmacists can engage with the patient and make sure they are getting the most out of their medications. Med sync is a great way for pharmacies to demonstrate their value to the health care system. That’s crucial as we shift to value-based care.
By speaking via mass media with the Hillaries out there, we can help folks find a pharmacy that has a med sync program at www.simplysync.net or at the APhA website. To learn how to get YOUR pharmacy’s medication synchronization services listed on the site, go to www.pharmacist.com/abm-pharmacy-map-instructions.
We’ve covered med sync in a few Pharmacy Today articles. Here are two: “Med sync laws spread to more states,” (October 2017); Pharmacies, payers, and patients stand to benefit from new Ohio law (November 2016).
There have also been some JAPhA articles on the subject, most recently The impact of a retail prescription synchronization program on medication adherence (September–October 2017) and The impact of medication synchronization on quality care criteria in an independent community pharmacy (March–April 2017).
The APhA Foundation has resources on starting a med sync program and enhancing it using the appointment-based model. Check that out on the Foundation website.