Magazine article Drug Topics

View Ridge Pharmacy Rattles the Pharmaceutical Care Cage

Magazine article Drug Topics

View Ridge Pharmacy Rattles the Pharmaceutical Care Cage

Article excerpt

When Holly Whitcomb, R.Ph., decided to redesign View Ridge Pharmacy in Seattle, she determined that she would emphasize pharmaceutical care because that's how she sees the future shaping up for the profession. Whitcomb described the remodeling process in an educational session during NARD's recent annual meeting in Boston.

As part of the redesign, which cost between $5,000 and $6,000, the professional side of the store was separated from the store's card and gift section. View Ridge does a brisk business in high-end gifts and cards.

The store is 3,500 sq. ft. in size and is situated in a Seattle neighborhood populated by many people 65 and older, some on limited incomes, as well as young families, said Whitcomb. "It's also a bedroom community for University of Washington faculty, so education and income level are relatively high."

Whitcomb and her partner, Donna Dockter, who is also a pharmacist, bought the pharmacy in 1986. "At that time, we did some work on the front end but not much on the pharmacy itself." The pharmacy hadn't been updated since the 1970s, she said.

The focus of the pharmacy, which fills an average of 75 prescriptions a day, is on patient education and patient monitoring, said Whitcomb. Cholesterol and blood pressure screenings are offered. An automatic blood pressure machine has been a real draw for customers, she said, because people want to self-monitor their pressure. A quarterly newsletter with health information is mailed to 13,000 households in the area.

The newly designed pharmacy has a glass-partitioned area that has become the dispensing lab. The pharmacy management computer system, including the printer, is also behind glass at the end of this section. There's a walker up counseling area with partitions--movable office dividers--providing privacy for patients who are comfortable standing. A sit-down counseling area is also available, with a chair for the pharmacist on one side and one for the patient on the other, as well as a computer terminal that faces both the patient and pharmacist. The computer is linked to two computerboxes--one for the pharmacy management system and the other for software that is used for cognitive interventions. …

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