Retail News Breaks Archives
More Thrifty White stores to get Rx-focused format
April 21st, 2014
PLYMOUTH, Minn. – Thrifty White Pharmacy plans to push ahead with more rollouts of its Healthy Outcomes format this year.
The regional drug chain began installing the Thrifty White Healthy Outcomes model in stores in 2012 and now has 18 locations with the format, said president and chief executive officer Robert Narveson. Plans call for eight more stores to adopt the Healthy Outcomes format in 2014.
"In these remodels, the pharmacy is the focal point," Narveson explained. "Prominent features include spacious consultation rooms, expanded patient waiting areas, integration of digital media and patient education materials. The layouts are designed to be open and welcoming. Several locations have also been fitted with state-of-the-art technology that allows increased efficiencies in workflow and inventory practices."
Also in 2014, Thrifty White plans to incorporate expanded clinical sites in a handful of new sites, according to Narveson.
In 2013, five corporate and 20 affiliated Thrifty White stores were opened. This year, the chain is aiming for 10 to 20 corporate store openings.
"Thrifty White Pharmacy's focus will remain on an integrated health services model," Narveson said, "combining health and wellness initiatives, nursing services, independent living, and clinical services to provide quality health care access and outcomes to the communities we serve."
Overall, Thrifty White operates 90 drug stores in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The pharmacy retailer's store network also includes 94 affiliated stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
And the pharmacists practicing in those stores are busy. According to Tim Weippert, executive vice president of pharmacy for the employee-owned retailer, Thrifty White dispensed about 6.3 million prescriptions in 2013, nearly 40% of which went through one of three central-fill sites covering the company's retail and the long-term care businesses.
Plans are to open another central site within the next year.
Thrifty White offers a wide variety of services to address the complex and diverse needs of its patients, a strategy that helps it to differentiate itself from other pharmacies. One growing and successful program its Medication Synchronization offering, which enables patients to pick up all of their prescriptions once a month instead of making repeated trips to the store.
"We have more than 37,000 patients enrolled in Medication Synchronization," Weippert said. "We have developed all of the standard promotional materials that would be associated with a service like Med Sync: brochures, flyers, streaming ads. We have also established measured goals for each site and have integrated Med Sync into our pharmacies' workflow."
Yet Thrifty White has found that the most effective way to promote Med Sync has simply been by spending time with patients to discuss the merits of synchronizing their medications, Weippert added.
"We have received positive feedback from patients, caregivers and physicians alike — with nine out of 10 patients stating that they would recommend Med Sync to their friends and family," he said. "Med Sync has been shown to be beneficial for the patient, provider, physician, health plans and government, resulting in healthier patients and a decreased overall health care spend."