The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 30, 2019 1:00 am

Compounding pharmacy transformed by tech

Lydia Braswell | For The Journal Gazette

Technology – with new compounding techniques and advanced software – is having a positive impact at The Medicine Chest.

Formerly known as The Medicine Shoppe, the locally owned pharmacy has provided Fort Wayne residents with prescriptions and medical services since 1977.

Andy Campbell has owned the business for two years and experienced firsthand the impact of technology.

Medical compounding differs from traditional pharmaceutical work. The focus is on safety for patients, who can choose from a variety of ways to consume the medicine because of the advances in compounding techniques.

Since being added to the Medicine Chest's services, compounding technology has made the intake of medicine safer for children and easier to avoid tablets.

From liquids to lollipops, compounding removes barriers that would otherwise limit the ability for patients with allergies, for example, to order prescriptions they need in dosage formats that do not cause negative reactions.

Newer software, Campbell said, helps pharmacists verify the right drugs to use for traditional medicine without the possibility of a wrong concoction.

Medication synchronization makes the business more efficient. Med-Sync allows prescriptions to be ready on the same day for customers with multiple orders.

The new software syncs the medications so the timing is convenient for pickup, Campbell said. Patients need to come to the pharmacy only once or twice a month rather than stopping by weekly to pick up each prescription separately.

Pioneer, a new computer system, has made work at The Medicine Chest more efficient for pharmacy technicians like Meisha Hurse. The technicians fill prescriptions to take the load off of the pharmacists.

New-patient information can be put into the system by scanning the back of the customer's driver's license rather than by manual data entry.

On the other side of the counter, Pioneer has a large database of prescribers so the employee can import information efficiently without spending extra time to do background research.

The pharmacy recently had a Medicine Chest app developed. The free app allows patients to order medication refills.

“If we get more customers from our traditional side rolling in, it'll take off really well,” Hurse said.

Although technology advances are important, the heart of customer service still lies within the personal service from the Medicine Chest staff, Campbell said.

“We have an awesome team that is really customer-service-driven,” he said.

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