COLUMBUS AIR BASE, Miss … U.S. Air Force Capt.Gregory Correale, 14th Medical Group pharmacy element chief, and Master Sgt. Joanna Sanchez, 14th MDG NCO in charge of pharmacy services, presented posters including scans for pharmacy operations at the Virtual National Pharmacy Conference, October 24-26, 2021.
The presentations were made in light of the 14th OMD Pharmacy operating at compliance levels above Air Force and DoD averages.
“When we started in September we were at zero percent compliance, then by October we were at thirty percent,” Correale said. “Slowly we made our way into the 90s and even hit 100 percent a few times. We have maintained ninety percent or higher compliance for a while now. “
The poster presented by Correale showed the compliance of pharmacies’ use of the Carepoint patient consultation tool under the 14th MDG.
“About two years ago, the Defense Health Agency imposed a requirement that every pharmacy in the Department of Defense will start using this tool,” Correale said. “The tool is a DoD website that allows you to research patient information and produces a recommendation whether or not you should dispense naloxone.
Naloxone is a prescription used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing that has slowed down or stopped due to overdose.
According to Correale’s poster, from 1999 to 2019, nearly 500,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. About fifty percent of these overdoses were from prescription drugs.
The poster presented by Sanchez showed a significant drop in inventory performance. The pharmacy bought a new system that notifies patients when their medicine is ready for collection, further improving communication between the agency and its clients.
“Last year, with a big hit of COVID here in Mississippi, we were struggling to communicate with our patients to find out when their prescriptions would be ready,” Sanchez said. “We weren’t allowed to let them wait in the lobby. Calls were encouraged but patients still did not understand when to come. With this new technology, the system automatically sends an SMS or a call to the patient and lets them know they are ready for recovery.
Overall, the system has improved communication, reduced inbound calls, decreased the number of back-to-stock prescriptions, and provided more reliable contact information for patients.
Correale was the lead author of the Carepoint Patient Look Up poster which was selected as an honorable mention in the Pharmaceutical Operations category at the conference.