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PDM Prescription Department Manager

PDM Prescription Department Manager

Prescription Department Manager’s Roles, Duties and Responsibilities

Pharmacy Department Manager StaffingA PDM (also commonly referred to as a Pharmacy Manager or Pharmacist  Manager) is required for all retail community pharmacies in every state. The prescription department manager’s roles and responsibilities are defined and regulated by each state’s Board of Pharmacy. Although variance does exist between individual states, the PDM’s responsibilities are fairly uniform. In short, the PDM is responsible for all pharmacy personnel and activities including the dispensing of prescriptions, pharmacy security, supervision and training of all pharmacy employees, plus adherence to all federal and state regulations.

A more detailed and comprehensive look at a Prescription Manager’s duties will include all of the following:
– Developing and maintaining a current written policy and procedure manual. The policy and procedure manual must be kept up to date and readily available during an inspection by any state or federal agencies. Additionally, the PDM is also responsible for the development of both training manuals and of Quality Assurance programs.
– Notifying the Board of Pharmacy within 30 days of any change in pharmacist personnel.
– Additionally, they must notify the Board of Pharmacy if employing pharmacy
technicians and must provide a training program for each technician.
– They must maintain prescription records for at least three (3) years in most states.
– They must ensure than all prescription dispensing and drug compounding are only performed by a licensed pharmacist (or under the direct supervision of a qualified licensed pharmacist). Additionally, they must ensure that all patient consulting and counseling is performed by a pharmacist only.
– Assure that all prescription drugs and controlled substances are safe and secure
in the pharmacy. This includes developing a system of inventory record keeping to detect discrepancies in controlled substances.
– The PDM is responsible for all aspects of the pharmacy security. This includes restricting access to non-authorized store personnel, securing of the pharmacy department if it is closed but the store is still open, as well as controlling all keys to the pharmacy.
– Preparation of a plan to safeguard the prescription records and drugs in the event of a natural disaster (such as a hurricane, flood or tornado).
– Separate, store and dispose of all drugs that are over 6 months out of date and expired.
– Report to the Board of Pharmacy any deaths due to drugs dispensed from their pharmacy.
– In a pharmacy that dispenses or compounds sterile pharmaceuticals, the Pharmacy Manager must be knowledgeable in both aseptic techniques and quality assurance, plus is responsible for the development of a system for the disposal of any infectious wastes.

Replacing a PDM

If you need to change or replace your existing Pharmacy Manager, it’s important that you follow the rules that almost every state adheres to:
– A pharmacist can serve as the Pharmacist Manager at only one full service retail pharmacy (or permit) at one time.
– The pharmacist must be present at least half the time the pharmacy is open or 32 hours per week, whichever is less.
– A pharmacist who is an employee is allowed to serve as a temporary PDM for a  90 day period from the departure date of the previous prescription department manager, if the pharmacist is at the pharmacy for a minimum of twenty (20) hours per week.
– The pharmacy is responsible for completing a controlled substance inventory within 10 days of a PDM change at the pharmacy.

It is important to take note that a pharmacy’s state permit is tied to an individual pharmacist that’s licensed to practice in that state and designated as the Pharmacist In Charge (PIC), but the PDM may be a separate individual. In many instances, however, the PDM and the PIC are the same individual for the retail pharmacy.

HCC Can Help You Find the Right PDM

If you own or manage a pharmacy and need to replace or change your Prescription Department  Manager, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing can be a great resource for you. In business since 1989, HCC can find you the best qualified pharmacist to meet your particular situation and needs. With over three decades of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacist recruitment, HCC is nationally renowned for a history of matching the right candidate to the right job in all fifty states. Plus, we have in-house consultant pharmacists on staff that can help guide you through the process, having been through it numerous times in the past.

Additionally, HCC offers our clients Interim Pharmacy Management Services. This not only allows your pharmacy to operate while you search for just the right PDM, but also gives our experienced staff the chance to review your pharmacy’s business performance and efficiency from an objective viewpoint. We also offer non-resident licensing services in every state.

If you are currently searching for the best PDM available for your retail pharmacy business, call us now at (800) 642-1652 or Contact Us Online now. An experienced HCC staffing consultant will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your needs.


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Pharmacists Working Second Job

Emergency Relief Pharmacist StaffingPharmacists are known for working two jobs. A commonly cited survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that approximately one out of almost every seven registered pharmacists (13%) work a second job in the United States. Although most people think the primary reason that pharmacists take on a second job and “moonlight” is simply for the money, there’s also  several other primary reasons that they do it:
– Insecurity at their present job
– Expanding their skill sets in a different pharmacy setting or specialty
– Getting their “foot in the door” at a better place to work if an opportunity opens up in the future
– Obtaining benefits such as better insurance or discounts
– Alleviate boredom during spare time

Tips for Pharmacists Looking for a Second Job

Whatever the motivation is for looking for a second job, planning is the key to success. Plenty of pharmacists who “moonlight” have successfully figured out how to work both their full time job, plus a part time job without getting exhausted or “burned out” over time. So whether you’re doing it to simply increase your income stream or for some of the other various reasons, consider some of the following tips when getting started.

– Have a Plan:

As with every other aspect of our lives, planning is always the key to our successes. Although the plan sometimes may need fine-tuning and adjusting, plus absolutely requires flexibility on our part at times to get where we want to be, a “road map” is always required to get us to our destination efficiently and as quickly as possible. Would you get into a car and simply start driving aimlessly without a road map or a navigation unit towards where you “believe” your destination to be? Of course not! The same concept applies to working a second job. Knowing where you want to end up is great, but planning on how to get there before “starting your engine” will save you both time and frustration.

– Set Goals:

As we’ve previously discussed numerous times in the past on our blog posts , setting realistic goals is the very best way we can measure our success in life. Goals should always be what are known as SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time oriented. Having goals and checking how you are doing against those goals will give you a way of measuring how working a second job is working out for you.

– Separate Your Full-time and Part-time Jobs:

Never present yourself or your employer with a conflict of interest. Try to always remember that your full-time job takes precedence over working a second job and that your primary fulltime job is what enables you to work a second job in the first place. Additionally, don’t use your full-time job’s resources for your second job. This includes your time, but also items such as office supplies, copiers and phones.

– Consider the Geography:

Travel time is part of the planning. Does your schedule allow for it? Perhaps a second job opportunity pays less, but is closer to your home? Actually physically driving the route between the jobs at the same time of the day you normally would may be a great way to judge how long it would really actually take you to get to a second job.

– Time Management:

Most pharmacists who “juggle” two jobs have excellent time management skills. This may be something that you will need to practice in order to be able to perform at your very best. Try to always keep in mind that there are only so many hours in a day. You may find that working a second job in a pharmacy requires that you work odd hours and shifts – nights, weekends and holidays. Work, family, sleep, relaxation, travel time and simply running routine errands all require excellent personal time management skills and the ability to keep on a schedule.

– Make Your Full-time Job Your Priority:

It may be a good idea for you to initially check with your employer regarding any policies existing regarding working a second job. Most employers do not prohibit working second jobs, but it is certainly wise to check and make sure that you are not breaking any rules from the very beginning. Employers are primarily concerned regarding any conflicts of interest and your productivity while you are at work. As long as you keep this in mind and working a second job doesn’t interfere with your productivity, then you should never have any issues. Additionally, if you signed a non-compete, non-disclosure and/or confidentiality agreement, you may not be legally able to work for your primary employer’s competition. It is best to check first to make sure that you never place your primary job in jeopardy in any way.

Where Do You Find the “Right” Second Job?

With the current shortage of pharmacists throughout the USA these days, the question of where to find the right second job has become more of an issue than in previous years. Here are a few examples of where the pharmacists who responded to the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found a second job:
1. Working for a previous employer. Already knowing the personnel and the work routine is a benefit to both the pharmacist and the employer. A great example of the old cliché “never burn your bridges behind you” when leaving a position.
2. Working at a pharmacy that you hope to work for in the future. Getting a part time position in a setting that you feel may be part of your future work goals allows you to “try out” the job to see if it actually meets your needs and expectations. It also lets the employer see your work ethics and get to know you. This is extremely important in cases where a position is lucrative and hard to get when there is a full-time opening available.
3. Volunteering in your community. It is enlightening to research how many communities actually need pharmacists as volunteers. There are various understaffed local programs that could use some help.
4. Utilizing a third-party staffing company (such as Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing).

Let HCC do the work for you! Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing is one of the leading pharmacy staffing agencies in the United States. Established in 1989, we serve all fifty states in the USA. We attribute our years of success to always placing the right pharmacist in the right job situation and environment.

If you are a pharmacist looking for a second job, we urge you to talk with us. With positions immediately available, feel free to contact us and to take a few minutes to introduce yourself and meet us. Owned and operated by pharmacists for over three decades now, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing is recognized as a national leader in the pharmacy staffing, recruitment and the pharmacist permanent placement arena. Call us today at 800.642.1652, or contact us online to meet us and start a discussion on how we may be able to help you.

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PIC Pharmacist In Charge

PIC Pharmacist in ChargeThere sometimes is a bit of confusion when people are discussing the role of a Pharmacist in Charge (or PIC) and defining their responsibilities or job description. The issue arises because most people (including pharmacists themselves) sometimes use all of the following terms interchangeably:
– Pharmacist in Charge
– Prescription Department Manager (PDM)
– Pharmacy Manager
– Pharmacist Manager
The distinction can be even more unclear because each sate has their own laws and regulations, and the definition and wording can vary between them.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that all fifty states require that the pharmacist who signs the application for the pharmacy’s permit (and the renewal of the pharmacy’s permit) shall be designated as the Pharmacist-in-Charge (PIC) for that facility. In all 50 states the pharmacy’s license is issued in the name of the PIC and is not assignable or transferable. In other words, the “Pharmacist-in-Charge” equates to the person who, being licensed as a pharmacist in the state that the pharmacy operation is physically located in, signs the application for the pharmacy permit and to whom the permit is issued to and then tied to. This designated pharmacist then assumes full legal responsibility for the entire operation of the pharmacy in a manner that legally complies with all the applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Additionally, it is important to note that every state requires that the PIC be licensed to practice pharmacy in their state and that the pharmacist shall not be the PIC at more than one community pharmacy or institutional pharmacy in that state at the same time.

Pharmacist in Charge (PIC) versus Prescription Department Manager (PDM)

Most of the confusion arises when discussing retail pharmacy businesses. All states require that each retail community pharmacy have a designated Prescription Department Manager (PDM). This is true for both single location independent retail community pharmacies, as well as larger multi-location chain stores. The PDM (also sometimes referred to as the Pharmacy Manager or Pharmacist Manager) in a retail setting is ultimately the one responsible for all of the personnel and their activities in the designated pharmacy area. What is important to consider in this discussion is that the Pharmacist In Charge (PIC) and the Prescription Department Manager (PDM) may actually be two different individuals. In many instances, however, the PDM and the PIC are the same pharmacist for the retail pharmacy. This is especially true for the smaller, single location independent retail pharmacy operations. Yet as they expand, each location needs a designated Pharmacist In Charge (PIC) to which each separate individual pharmacy’s permit is attached to.

State Board Rules Regarding a PIC Change

Sometimes it is necessary that a pharmacy change the pharmacist in charge. The current PIC leaves, is terminated or has a licensure issue can mean that the pharmacy owner must find a replacement. In such instances, it is important to know that almost every State Board of Pharmacy adheres to the following rules regarding a change in a pharmacy’s PIC:
– If the PIC’s license becomes inactivated or is voided for any reason (inclusive of suspension, revocation, surrender or restrictions placed by the state on the designated PIC), then a brand new pharmacy permit is required and the application must be made by another pharmacist that is licensed to practice in that state within ten (10) days.
– If the PIC is fired (or decides they no longer want to be the PIC of the pharmacy operation), it;s required that they notify the State Board of Pharmacy in writing and return the pharmacy’s permit. The owner of the pharmacy then has ten (10) days to designate a new PIC at their place of business and must then submit a new application for obtaining a new permit.
–  A permit will not be issued or renewed unless the PIC is licensed in the state that the pharmacy is physically located in.
– An inventory of all controlled substances at the pharmacy must be performed and submitted to the Board whenever there is a change. If the previous PIC did not perform the required controlled substance inventory, then it is the responsibility of the new PIC to perform one and submit it to the State Board of Pharmacy.

HCC Can Help Get You the Right PIC

Whether your are an existing pharmacy owner who needs a PIC, or a brand new pharmacy startup in need of a Pharmacist in Charge in order to apply for a permit, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing can help you. In business since 1989, HCC can find you the best qualified pharmacist to meet your needs. With over three decades of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacist recruitment, HCC is known nationally for being able to match the right candidate to the right job in all fifty states.

Additionally, HCC offers our clients Interim Pharmacy Management Services. This not only allows your pharmacy to operate while you search for just the right PIC, but allows our experienced staff the chance to review your pharmacy business regarding both performance and efficiency. We also offer non-resident licensing services for all fifty states.

If you are currently looking for a PIC available for your pharmacy business or operation, call us now at (800) 642-1652 or Contact Us Online and an experienced HCC staffing consultant will contact you back asap to discuss your needs.


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Why Hire A Pharmacy Staffing Agency that Offers Consulting

Managing A PharmacyWhy do I need to find a reputable Pharmacy Staffing Agency as quickly as possible? We’ve discussed the advantages at length in our last couple of blog posts. In our previous blog post discussing employee turnover and retention of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in all types of pharmacy settings in general, we then took a good look at the economic impact and other consequences of turnover in perhaps the hardest hit area of the staffing shortage in the pharmacy business – the Independent Community Retail Pharmacy.

Yet, let’s consider another aspect of searching for, and then interviewing pharmacy staffing firms – Are the prospective staffing agencies that you’re considering aligning with additionally capable of offering your pharmacy expert advise in regards to Pharmacy Consulting? In other words. will you need two separate companies as partners, both a pharmacy staffing agency to help you and your staff relax during a staffing shortage, PLUS a separate experienced pharmacy consulting firm to answer your business questions and needs?

Why Hire A Pharmacy Staffing Firm That Offers Expert Consulting?

To answer this question, we need to look at three different scenarios as examples:
1. Larger pharmacy business operations
2. Starting up a new pharmacy business
3. Operating an established independent pharmacy

Healthcare Systems, Large Hospitals, Government and Institutional Pharmacies –

Most of the larger major healthcare systems and hospitals already utilize third-party pharmacy consultants. They realize that in certain business situations they may need help with two important factors in order to make the right decisions: objectivity and specialization. Having larger budgets, they are much more likely to seek outside experts who are experienced in specialized areas to meet both their immediate and future needs. Additionally, they are open to an objective and unbiased review of their business operations in order to maximize both efficiency and profitability.

Usually larger organizations will realize that they have a very specific need or a project that requires specialization and they simply don’t have the in-house staff member or experienced specialist on their staff. They also don’t see the long term need to hire such an individual, so reaching out to a consulting firm is the obvious solution. Additionally, in time sensitive situations, they lack the time to seek out, interview and vet the specialist – so again hiring an experienced and multi-faceted pharmacy consulting firm is the perfect solution (saving them both time and resources).

Pharmacy Startups –

Perhaps no other type of business start-up requires both experience and specialization as does the opening up of a new pharmacy. Taking into account the “normal” business decisions and challenges that are faced when opening up any new business, pharmacy startups come with a long list of additional complexities. All new retail business owners must deal with the typical issues of choosing the best location, leasing the required office space, choosing contractors and vendors, hiring employees, obtaining financing and selecting accounting and/or payroll systems. However, the opening of a new pharmacy practice also entails the following expertise:
– DEA and State Board of Pharmacy application processes
– Mandatory Policy and Procedure manuals
– Required Continuance Quality Improvement (CQI) manual
– Purchasing of specialized equipment
– Board of Pharmacy required internal signs and postings
– Final State Board inspection of the facility
– Security considerations
– Hiring of a Prescription Department Manager (PDM) for both the application process and the inspection

Then you must take into consideration that the various types of pharmacies that are being started up will sometimes require a different expertise or an individual with specialized experience. Just some examples include:
– Retail community pharmacy startups
– Specialty pharmacy startups
– Compounding pharmacy startups
– Mail-Order pharmacy startups
– Internet pharmacies
– Infusion pharmacies

Established Independent Retail Pharmacy –

In all established community retail pharmacies, the pharmacy owners, Prescription Department Managers (PDM) and Pharmacists in Charge (PIC) at the moment face perhaps the most critical problem of all – staffing their pharmacies with both qualified pharmacists and pharmacy technicians during a national shortage of workers.  Yet additionally, they should always be asking the following questions: “Maybe there’s a better way of doing things?  Perhaps I should get some expert advice on the business decisions that I’m making?”. The answer is most often times a YES. No one runs their business perfectly. Getting an objective evaluation from an expert who is distanced from any emotional business ties and can offer complete objectivity is the best opportunity to honestly evaluate your pharmacy operation. Simply stated, having an objective third party expert taking a hard look at your current practices can make the difference between growing your business or eventually closing it down.

Start thinking about all the facets of knowledge and specialization that are required to run an efficient and profitable pharmacy.
– Technology changes so rapidly in the pharmacy profession that it is nearly impossible to stay current. And what about emerging technologies that are in the near future? When one simply considers the never ending acronyms that have emerged in just the past couple of years in pharmacy and healthcare, it’s staggering how proficient in technology we all must be. Just a few examples include:
– ePA
These few examples are simply the “tip of the iceberg” as HIT (Health Information Technology) continues to evolve and to expand exponentially.

When you add in understanding and keeping up with the never ending changes in federal and state laws, plus the regulatory agencies such as the DEA, FDA and State Boards of Pharmacy, it seems pretty clear that some assistance from an expert consulting firm may be necessary. Lastly, just look at a short list of additional areas that a pharmacy must comprehend and make decisions about and it’s pretty easy to see why a pharmacy consulting firm makes sense:
– PBMs and insurance networks
– Sterile and non-sterile compounding <USP 795 & 797>
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
– Customized Policy and Procedure Development (and review of existing policies and procedures)
– Integrated Delivery Networks
– Compliance Audits
– Pharmacy Expansion and/or Integration of New Service Lines
– Security

About Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting

HCC is known to be a national leader in pharmacy consulting. Since 1989, in addition to our first-class pharmacy staffing services, our in-house specialists and pharmacy consultants have provided expert evaluations, solutions and guidance across all sectors of the pharmacy industry. From every size of pharmacy businesses – community drug stores to national healthcare systems – we strive to improve your pharmacy’s business operations, efficiency and profitability. In addition to offering our clients the “typical” staffing solutions such as Temporary “fill-in” Pharmacists and Technicians to help reduce workloads, stress, and burnout among your workers, permanent full-time placement to help find new team additions that fit your needs, plus Temp-to-perm options, some of the other possible services we commonly provide to our clients include:

  • Pharmacy Performance Assessments
  • Regulatory Compliance Audits, Gap Analysis and Corrective Action Planning
  • Strategic Pharmacy Business Planning
  • Pharmacy Performance and Efficiency Enhancements
  • Custom Policy and Procedure Development
  • Compliance Review
  • Licensing Services for all 50 states for application processes
  • Experienced Pharmacy Consultants with specialties in every area and niche of Pharmacy for those special projects or opportunities (including Non-sterile (795) and Sterile (797) Compounding)
  • Assisting both buyers and sellers on how best to fix, prepare, or position their pharmacy to best maximize its value

HCC has been the nationally renowned pharmacy staffing agency & consulting firm of choice for over three decades now. We urge you to contact us today to see how both our Pharmacy Staffing services and Pharmacy Consulting services can help you improve your business right now, plus be ready for the future. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultants and Pharmacy Staffing specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Contact us online or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a free consultation.

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Independent Community Pharmacist Retention During Shortage

Hospital Pharmacist JobsThe shortage of pharmacists nationally, fueled by the increased demand for pharmacists due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was a topic that we discussed on our blog posts all the way back in March of 2020 and then again in early April. Now with the nationally accepted recognition that the pharmacy profession has received as “frontline essential workers” during the pandemic, plus the new expansion of a pharmacist’s responsibilities and job duties, the current demand for pharmacists is almost staggering. With the independently owned retail pharmacies becoming so very important as a part of every community, let’s discuss how the shortage of pharmacists and technicians affects them in particular.

Are Independent Pharmacies Hardest Hit By The Shortage of Pharmacists?

In our previous blog post discussing employee turnover and retention of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in all types of pharmacy settings, we looked at the economic impact and other consequences of turnover in general, plus offered some tips and insights into employee retention versus replacement of valuable “lost” personnel.

Now let’s look more closely at perhaps the hardest hit area of the pharmacy community – the Independent Community Retail Pharmacy. Everyone still remembers how inconvenient the shortages of necessary commodities such as toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer were at the beginning of the pandemic, but a shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy workers is currently still having disastrous effects on our national healthcare system.

Retail community pharmacists and their pharmacy co-workers have all been working long extended hours under unbelievable stressful conditions and, as everyone knows, they are the most accessible health care workers available to the general public. In most cities, towns and communities across the nation, the pharmacist is the most easily accessible healthcare provider and usually acts as the first “touchpoint” for a patient engaging with the US healthcare system. In fact, over ninety percent of all Americans reportedly live within five miles of a retail community pharmacy. This is especially true in many rural areas of our nation and in communities that additionally experience shortages of doctors and physicians. In those areas in particular, a pharmacist may be the only healthcare provider that is immediately within reach of many patients and their family members. Not only providing medications, prescriptions and medical supplies, pharmacists are being called on to be a source of the latest critical information and to be a support for the general public at large across the country.

Then came the call for pharmacists to both prescribe and administer vaccines and immunizations to heir patients that entirely changed the way a typical community retail drugstore operated. Pharmacists had to quickly adjust to accommodate the impact, as well as their much needed technicians. This led to what’s been termed “Pharmacist Burnout”, and also applies to the pharmacy technicians. Many could simply not deal with the change (or quickly got ill themselves), which resulted in so much stress that a significant number switched to hospital or clinical positions, or simply left the profession they were educated in and had practiced for their entire professional lives. According to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)’s 2021 economic health report this “exodus” from independent retail community pharmacies resulted in:
• Over two-thirds (68%) of all independent community pharmacies nationwide reported having a difficult time filling open pharmacist positions.
• A staggering 88% of independent pharmacies reported that pharmacy technicians are the most difficult positions to fill.

These staffing shortages that had never before been seen in by independent pharmacy owners have resulted in:
1. Reduced operating hours of community pharmacies (keeping in mind that a Registered Pharmacist must be physically present for a pharmacy to be open to both fill and dispense prescription medications).
2. Reduced revenue for the independent community pharmacies (with numerous patients leaving and opting for the convenience of mail-order prescription refills). The survey also revealed that over 41% of independent community pharmacy owners stated that the current overall financial health of their business is somewhat poor or very poor.
3. Increased incentive pay to pharmacy staff that obviously also results in decreased profitability. One must keep in mind that the rising costs cannot just be passed on to the patients because many of the reimbursements and fees are controlled by PBMs.
4. Greatly increased prescription dispensing waiting times for patients.
5. The turning away of patients seeking immunizations.

Tips For Independent Pharmacy Owners To Increase Pharmacist Retention

So how does the independent community pharmacy owner deal with this pharmacist shortage, increase R. Ph. & staff retention, plus remain profitable enough stay open during this critical time?

As we previously discussed in our previous post, certain retention strategies pertain to all areas and types of pharmacies:
– Increased communication with pharmacy staff
– Empowerment of employees to make decisions
– Offering a health benefits program, like a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA)
– Recognition of individual achievements

Yet for the independent pharmacy owner there’s perhaps a more critical area to focus on than the usual raising of wages, offering more flexible work hours, and increasing benefits to attract new workers and increase employee retention:
Establishing an alliance and a relationship with an established and reputable Pharmacy Staffing Agency!

Contact a Pharmacy Staffing Firm NOW and be Prepared

Although increasing compensation, allowing flexible scheduling, plus offering new benefits such as tuition reimbursement and/or childcare allowances are all excellent retention strategies, perhaps the best way to deal with pharmacist burnout and employee turnover is to institute a working relationship with a proven and established national pharmacy staffing agency! The right staffing firm can provide experienced temporary “fill-in” pharmacists and technicians to help reduce workloads, stress, plus provide immediate much needed relief to overworked pharmacists and leads to a reduced occurrence of burnout among your workers. The right pharmacy staffing agency can also assist in you by providing qualified permanent full-time placement and can help find new team additions that fit your specific needs. The right staffing firm can also offer an independent pharmacy owner “temp-to-perm” options. In the long term, the owners themselves can relax and focus once again on what’s essential in making their independent pharmacy operation more profitable!

Choosing the pharmacy staffing firm that best suits your potential requirements and needs is essential. Choose a firm that’s not too small as to be geographically constrained and has a limited number of available pharmacists that meet your business’s needs. If you own or run a “smaller” pharmacy operation, it’s important that the staffing agency you partner with is not too large itself and, therefore, is service oriented when dealing with a “smaller” client’s immediate needs like yours.

The perfect choice is HCC (Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting)! Our pharmacist staffing service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. HCC maintains one of the largest active pools of relief and temporary pharmacists in the nation, allowing us to quickly locate available, qualified and reliable pharmacists during any emergency situations that may arise. Our proprietary online system allows HCC to match your needs with the most qualified available candidates to work temporary relief during emergency times as these. HCC also ensures that our emergency pharmacists comply with all HIPAA requirements and also have and maintain professional liability insurance.

Please also note that HCC can also help fill all of your staffing needs regarding pharmacy technicians. HCC has been the leading provider of qualified, registered, licensed and professional pharmacy technicians (CPhTs) in Florida since 1989. As with pharmacists, satisfaction with our pharmacy technician staffing is guaranteed!

We strongly urge you to be proactive regarding establishing a relation with us now (this way all required paperwork is completed before an emergency situation actually occurs or, as is the case of the coronavirus we presently face, escalates). Then, when you do actually require an a relief pharmacist, HCC will be ready to meet your needs so that you can relax and rest easy. Call us now at (800) 642-1652 or take a moment and Contact Us Online and an HCC in-house staffing consultant will contact you as soon as possible to discuss all of your staffing needs.

About HCC Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting

With over three decades of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacy consulting, HCC has helped hundreds of pharmacies with employee turnover and retention problems. As one of the nation’s premiere pharmacy recruitment and placement agencies, HCC can also help you find you the best candidates available to fill your job openings. HCC has been a national leader since 1989 in regards to staffing, recruitment, permanent placement and direct hire. With HCC as your partner, you can rest assured that employee turnover and retention are one less area that you need to focus your limited and precious time on. So you can relax and concentrate on the profitability and growth of your pharmacy operation.

Contact us on line or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a Free Consultation to find out how we can help you too.

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Employee Turnover and Retention Of Pharmacists And Techs

pharmacy jobsWhat Is the Actual Cost of Employee Turnover?

Numerous studies have been performed in the past to help identify what losing an employee actually costs a business. Getting to an accurate assessment of the costs is a complicated process, involving various factors that may not accurately depict the “true” economic impact that losing a valued employee can cost a pharmacy business. Additionally, many of the factors that one needs to take into account to determine the cost are subjective and sometimes cannot be accurately measured. What makes it so hard are the numerous intangible (and often undocumented) costs associated with replacing a good employee. Yet a frequently quoted study released by the Center for American Progress determined that employee turnover costs can be estimated to be, at a minimum, almost 100% of the employee’s base salary. In the profession of pharmacy, depending on the individual’s salary and responsibilities, the study concluded that it can actually be as high as 300% in certain situations. The study also noted that for replacing “highly educated” employees such as a pharmacist, using the median of 200% is a pretty “safe bet”.

The study also took a good look at what costs a business owner needs to take into account and consider when faced with a high employee turnover rate. These include (but are not limited to):
1. The cost of advertising and attracting good potential workers to replace the individual (attracting candidates, interviewing them and hiring all take time).
2. The costs of on-boarding a new employee (not only the training time, but also the “hidden” management and human resources time that are required when someone new is hired).
3. The costs of off-boarding the employee leaving (again, the “hidden” management and human resources time required to take care of things like payroll, ongoing benefits such as Cobra insurance plans and record keeping).
4. Lost productivity (a new employee may take a year or more to reach the productivity of an existing worker).
5. The “Domino Effect” of losing other employees or seeing a decreased performance from other employees. This may be the hardest off all to accurately determine, keeping in mind that whenever an employee leaves, others are often times affected. Most times the other employees who see a high turnover rate in a company tend to disengage and the result is a  business wide decrease in productivity or the loss of another valuable pharmacy staff member.

Employee Retention Versus Employee Turnover

From the studies of what losing a valued employee actually costs a pharmacy owner, perhaps employee retention is a better way to solve the problem. Turnover is a “reactive” situation – the employee needs to be replaced as quickly as possible with the best candidate available. Retention is an “active” situation – it’s an ongoing and never ending process. Perhaps every pharmacy business owner should focus on a “retention strategy” to ensure that all of the key people are satisfied and happy. After all, happy employees not only remain loyal to a business, but are more productive and have a positive impact on a pharmacy’s bottom line and profitability.

Tips To Increase Employee Retention for Pharmacy Owners

Here are some tips and things that every business owner needs to consider to improve with employee retention and decrease staff turnover:
– Determine first off exactly what your employee retention and turnover rates actually are. How can you fix a problem that may not even exist – “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. This also means that a business owner should always conduct an exit interview when a worker leaves, to help determine exactly why the person left and evaluate and document the retention problems that the company is currently facing, plus take a look at some of the possible solutions.
– Offer a health benefits program, like a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA), sometimes referred to as a Small Business HRA. Studies showed that, although wages are obviously an important factor, health benefits are becoming perhaps one of the most common reasons that employees leave a job to go to work at another company. Also cited as critical when discussing employee turnover are factors such as future individual growth opportunities and appreciation from supervisors and management.
– Communicate with your employees. One of the biggest concerns that employees have is that they are treated as a “cost of doing business and not as an asset” by the owners and/or management. Many owners simply assume that everyone working at the pharmacy is happy. Initiate open communication by making the company’s vision and mission clear. Discuss the company’s goals and expectations so that each individual is clear as to where the business is heading. Also, consider regularly surveying all of your employees, but you must be willing to listen to open and constructive criticism and feedback. Otherwise your employees will not completely open themselves up and be honest.
– Empower your employees to make decisions on their own. This means that at times they may not make the right decision, but empowering employees allows them to feel management’s confidence in them and discourages the feeling of being micro-managed. This obviously assumes that you have a written job description for every employee that clearly lays out their duties, roles, responsibilities and tasks. Yet a great job description doesn’t limit the employee from being flexible, empowered and able to add to the business’s profitability.
– Recognize and reward their good work. Money as a bonus is always appreciated, but recognition of doing their job well actually means a lot more. Numerous studies have repeatedly shown that the number one reason that workers actively look for another job is that they feel unappreciated and undervalued. Just be sure that the praise is specific and that it is sincere. Additionally, keep in mind that you may have some employees that prefer to be recognized privately. Some people (such as technical or IT personnel) tend to dislike recognition in a public manner.

About HCC Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting

With over three decades of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacy consulting, HCC has helped hundreds of pharmacies with employee turnover and retention problems. As one of the nation’s premiere pharmacy recruitment and placement agencies, HCC can also help you find you the best candidates available to fill your job openings. HCC has been a national leader since 1989 in regards to staffing, recruitment, permanent placement and direct hire. With HCC as your partner, you can rest assured that employee turnover and retention are once less area that you need to focus your limited and precious time on. So you can both relax and concentrate on the profitability and growth of your pharmacy operation.

Contact us on line or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a Free Consultation to find out how we can help you too.

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Pharmacy Technician Shortage Hospitals and Health Systems

Pharmacy Technician Staffing and ResponsibilitiesThe national pharmacy technician shortages being seen in both hospital pharmacies and the majority of major US healthcare systems continues to expand almost exponentially according to the latest ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) survey results just released.

An analysis from the new ASHP survey data indicates that there was a national turnover rate of greater than twenty-one percent (> 21%) in technician staffing seen last year (2021). Additionally noted, and perhaps even more alarming, was that over ten percent of the respondents to the survey of pharmacy administrators stated that they had actually lost two out of every five pharmacy technicians during 2021 (or an estimated 41% of their technician staffing).

How to Deal With the Pharmacy Technician Shortage

The survey cited that pharmacy technicians expressed frustration with their pay, workload, and work schedules. They also felt frustrated by the constant “shifts” in their job duties and responsibilities, as has also been documented as expressed by practicing pharmacists in almost all areas of the profession. The changes are now almost a “constant” in the practice of pharmacy since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an expansion of a pharmacist’s role as a vital member of the healthcare team.

The point is that pharmacy administrators reported in the ASHP survey that they had implemented a variety of strategies to relieve the tech shortage, with nearly all increasing the use of overtime and about 90% using pharmacists to perform tasks usually handled by the pharmacy technicians. This may work for a while, but in the long-term will result in an increase in both medication errors and pharmacist “burn-out” according to most industry experts. Additionally, nearly 75% of hospital pharmacy administrators reported that they had offered base pay increases within the last year to attract and retain technicians, with most also offering off-cycle pay raises and other hiring and retention incentives. These incentives included paying for certification and recertification, educational expenses, formal technician training, and licensing and registration fees for technicians. The survey also revealed that over one-third (38%) had implemented internal technician training programs.

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Pharmacist Job Decline Predicted Amid Pharmacist Shortage

Staffing for pharmacies nationwide is already currently seeing a shortage of qualified pharmacists and technicians available, but the newest statistics point to an even darker scenario over the next decade for the US pharmacist job market. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most current statistics that were just released, while the expected occupational average growth rate for all occupations over the next decade is predicted to be estimated at just above 4%, pharmacist employment is actually expected to decline during that period. Employment of pharmacists is projected to decline almost 2 percent during the decade of 2020 to 2030. Many find this so very disappointing after the aggressively forecasted growth rate that had been predicted of 4-6% that was expected to be seen between 2019 to 2021.

Pharmacy Staffing Shortage VS Pharmacist Unemployment Rate

Based on the National Pharmacist Workforce Study of 2014 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, there’s always has been an expected 10% unemployment rate for new pharmacists starting in 2021, and that rate would grow by about 2% annually. Yet these numbers relate only to new pharmacists and the most recent statistics revealed by the NIH (National Library of Medicine) of that an estimated 4.4% of all pharmacists are currently unemployed, with higher rates occurring for female pharmacists, older pharmacists, and respondents of color, with the highest rate occurring (9.3%) for Black pharmacists.
Yet despite declining employment numbers, an estimated 11,300 new openings for pharmacists are projected each year, on average, over the coming decade. The majority of these “new” jobs for pharmacists that are being predicted are simply “replacement jobs” for the retiring members of the pharmacy profession, as well as replacing those pharmacists that have decided to change professions totally.
Yet there definitely is a nationwide pharmacy staffing shortage that currently exists. Consider the numbers supplied recently by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)’s 2021 economic health report:
• 68% of independent pharmacies report having a difficult time filling staff positions
• 88% of independent pharmacies report that pharmacy technicians are the most difficult position to fill
• Staffing shortages have resulted in 1) reduced operating hours 2) increased incentive pay 3) turning away patients seeking immunizations 4) greater prescription dispensing waiting times

Why Are Pharmacy Jobs Declining?

One major reason is that the mail-order specialty pharmacies are booming, including such giants as Amazon Pharmacy and Mark Cuban’s CostPlus Drug Company. This trend will continue and greatly advance as more and more customers simply refill their prescriptions online and simply receive them through the mail (USPS).  The result will simply be less of a demand for pharmacists working in retail pharmacies and traditional community retail drug stores. Also, as the pharmacy chains start to reduce the number of their retail locations, the result will again be that there will simply be fewer jobs available.

Perhaps also worth noting as a major contributing factor in the rise of mail-order specialty pharmacies is the fact that every major insurance provider is connected directly to a major Pharmacy mail-order operation. The insurance coverage will offer the consumer incentives to utilize their own provider for refilling the patient’s prescriptions online and through the US mail.

How Can HCC Pharmacy Staffing help?

The bottom line is that no matter what such statistics as demand projections may reveal,  pharmacies are struggling  tremendously on a national basis to meet an incredible demand and suffering a severe shortage, which results in all sorts of downstream negative effects. Additionally, pharmacies are also dealing with an incredible increase of pharmacist burnout, while still having to meet pharmacist / tech staffing ratios, etc.

This is where HCC can help. We can help alleviate burnout, plus ramp up staffing when needed, and help pharmacies deliver and serve patients without reducing operating hours, and without increasing dispensing times, etc. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing (HCC) is a Florida-based, full-service national pharmacy staffing and consulting company established in 1989 that’s been helping pharmacy owners and managers to relax when having to deal with staffing shortage issues such as we’re seeing in today’s healthcare work environment. For over three decades now, HCC’s clients have slept easier knowing that they are “partnered” with the finest pharmacy staffing agency available nationally.

The same holds true If you are a Pharmacist looking for work in a specific area (either temporary or permanent), and we encourage you to contact us today at 800-642-1652 to discuss how we can help you as an individual with a unique situation and needs. Having been in the Pharmacy Staffing business for over 3 decades now, HCC is known nationally for finding the right Pharmacist for the right position and visa versa.
Additionally, HCC is known as an industry leader in the field of Pharmacy Consulting. With a team of in-house experts, HCC can assist you with complex problems such as:

Development of Custom Policies and Procedures
– Technician Utilization Documentation
Pharmacy Management Consultation
Pharmacy licensing services covering all 50 states
Pharmacy audit & inspection preparation

Call us today at 800-642-162 or Contact us Online now for a Free Consultation to see how our team here at HCC can help you!


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Pharmacy Technician Policy and Procedure Custom Consulting

Pharmacy technicians are an integral part of every pharmacy team as discussed in our previous posts. It is interesting to note that recently three major studies were conducted comparing error rates between Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. Keeping in mind that the studies actually only evaluated the order-verification performance or error-detection capabilities of pharmacy technicians versus pharmacists, the conclusions of each study indicated that there was very little difference in accuracy between the two groups. One of the studies actually resulted in technician accuracy being higher than that of the pharmacists! Several reasons for the higher reported accuracy of technicians versus pharmacists were discussed, but it really pointed out the already accepted fact that pharmacists deal with a multitude of interruptions that reduces their focus on “the work directly at hand” (while technicians primarily benefit from uninterrupted workflow routines).

Whose Ultimately Responsible for Pharmacy Technician Errors?

The purpose of this post is not to discuss the value of utilizing pharmacy technicians, but to point out that it is the pharmacist who is ultimately responsible for any errors that may occur. That being said, there were four points of workflow identified that the potential for errors occurring revolved around:

1. Prescription drop-off (or prescription delivery in clinical settings)
2. Order Entry
3. Filling/Dispensing
4. Point of Sale (or medication delivery in clinical settings)

The studies all concluded that in each step of the workflow process it’s imperative that a pharmacy have up-to-date and well documented Policies and Procedures (P&P Manuals) regarding the exact roles that both the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians fulfill.

Each Individual State Defines a Tech’s Roles

It is also important to note that there are no federal guidelines regarding the utilization of pharmacy technicians, but that their roles are basically defined by the state in which the pharmacy operates. This applies to both the ratio of pharmacist to technician and the requirements established in becoming a technician (in regards to education, training and certification). It is up to each pharmacy to know the requirements and to follow them. Recently the National Pharmacy Technician Initiative and Scorecard was created, which grades each state on the strength of its technician requirements and regulations. According to the foundation’s website, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Hawaii each have a score of “0,” indicating that they currently have no laws in place regulating pharmacy technician standards. Pennsylvania recently passed House Bill 854, however, which would require all technicians to complete a training program approved by the state pharmacy board, but the bill awaits a vote in the state Senate.

Who Can Help You With Pharmacy Technicians?

As we have previously pointed out, whether in a retail, hospital, institutional or specialty setting, pharmacy technicians are taking on increasingly important roles with expanding responsibilities. However, as pharmacy technician roles expand, so does the potential for their errors to increase and prove dangerous or even sometimes fatal. Does your pharmacy have written policies and procedures in place regarding all the areas that your pharmacy technicians are utilized? Does this include all four areas of potential errors (Rx drop-off, order entry, filling/dispensing and delivery)?

If not, then contact HCC today to see how we can help. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing has been a full service Pharmacy staffing agency and consulting firm that has been in business for over 33 years now (established in 1989). HCC has been helping pharmacies plan, prepare and deal with issues such as these since 1989. Just a few examples of our services include:

Development of Custom Policies and Procedures
– Technician Utilization Documentation
Pharmacy Management Consultation

Contact us now online or call us today for a Free Consultation at 800-642-1652  to discuss how we can help you.


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Specialty Pharmacies Are Expanding and Evolving Nationally

Specialty Pharmacy ConsultationHaving worked for almost three and one-half decades in the fields of Pharmacy staffing and consulting, I still find it amazing to watch the growth of Pharmacy Specialties and the Specialty Pharmacy Job Market evolve, expand and basically explode! As the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist’s duties continuously increases, so does the creation of new job positions and work opportunities. Today there are virtually new pharmacy specialties and sub-specialties in our profession being created, expanded and redefined in an unprecedented growth of job positions and opportunities.

Pharmacy graduates in the previous generation basically had one primary professional role question to answer: Do I spend my life working and practicing our “craft” in a Hospital environment or a Retail pharmacy practice? Today the question has virtually become filled with limitless special roles and the field is being redefined at a rate that has never been seen before.

What Specialty Pharmacies Exist Today?

In an attempt to place perspective on the opportunities available, let’s take quick look at a list of specialty pharmacy practice areas that we deal with here at Healthcare Consultants (HCC) in regards to both staffing and consulting on a regular basis. Although by no means complete, it helps to illustrate the expansion of pharmacy opportunities that this “age of pharmacy specialization” has created:
– Adult Medicine & Geriatrics
– Ambulatory Care
– Cancer & Oncology
– Cardiology
– Clinical Pharmacy
– Critical Care
– Compounding (Both Sterile & Non-sterile)
– Cystic Fibrosis
– Emergency Medicine
– Endocrinology & Diabetes
– Immunology & Transplantation
– Infectious Diseases
– IV Pharmacy
– Mail Order Pharmacy
– Nephrology
– Nuclear Pharmacy
*Were you aware that Nuclear Pharmacists average well over $145,000 annually on a national basis?
– Nutritional Pharmacy
– Pain and Palliative Care
– Pediatrics
– Poison Control
– Psychiatry
– Research
– Woman’s Health
Additionally we could list specialty jobs that are being created in Managed Care, Drug Information Services and Publications, Economics & Informatics and the Pharmaceutical Industry itself.

How Can Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing YOU?

If you are a Pharmacist looking for work in a specific specialty area (either temporary or permanent) we encourage you to contact us today at 800-642-1652 to discuss how we can help you as an individual with a unique situation and needs. The exact same is true if you are an employer looking to fill a specialty pharmacy job position. Having been in the Pharmacy Staffing business for over 33+ years, HCC is known nationally for finding the right Pharmacist for the right position.
Additionally, HCC is known as an industry leader in the field of Pharmacy Consulting. With a team of in-house experts, HCC can assist you with complex problems such as:
– Training and Documentation
Call us today at 800-642-162 or Contact us Online now for a Free Consultation to see how our team here at HCC can help you!

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