"Customer convenience is our top priority so having a technology partner like PDX with such a strong development team adds a bit of comfort for me."
Vice President of Pharmacy | Weis Markets
You have accomplished a lot over the past 10 years, creating a very impressive resume. Both your experiences at Rite Aid and now your responsibilities here at Weis Markets have offered you valuable insights into customer preferences. Your thoughts?
You are very kind. I am a pharmacist at heart and my goal has always been to drive better patient outcomes. All of my work experiences, both at Rite Aid and at Weis Markets, have been fantastic. I have had fabulous mentors and opportunities that I am constantly thankful for. Those opportunities have allowed me to see the profession in many ways. Patient preferences do change over time and it is fantastic to see more and more of them taking a more active role in their health. Concerns for not only cost, but also outcomes have really helped to drive that interaction. I truly believe that the basis of all patient preferences is the same of any consumer-quality and friendly service–a caring attitude, trust, and value. The current healthcare landscape can be challenging, but as long you continue to build programs and decisions around those ideals, patients will continue to select you over others. Building off those principles and bringing technologically appropriate solutions only solidify your patient base even more.
How do you feel the business of pharmacy has changed over the past 2-3 years?
The industry has continued to change so rapidly. Changes with the Affordable Care Act have only continued to magnify issues with access, quality, and reimbursement. As the landscape continues to change daily, I believe that you need to make tempered, but swift, decisions to adapt to those changes. Having a base set of ideals and a technology platform like PDX allows me the flexibility to continue to more in those directions (such as clinical pharmacy services) without losing focus of our primary initiatives.
How have you addressed this?
I must say that I wish we have solved everything, but I am not sure anyone can say that. Every day we continue to evaluate what we did and what we should do. Incorporation of inventory management solutions, focus on MTM, and medication synchronization are just a few. Utilizing data is also a critical driver. We look forward to continuing to add new PDX platforms to help augment our current solutions and fulfill patient needs driving outcomes.
I understand you have converted all of your 135 pharmacies using PDX classic technology to the new EPS solution. Was the juice worth the squeeze?
That’s correct…and we converted all of our stores in under five months. I have been involved in a number of rollouts and conversions in my career, but this was one of the smoothest I have ever been a part of. We completed preparation with PDX’s consultant team ahead of the rollout. From commitment to full rollout was approximately 11 months. Subsequent to the rollout, our training is much easier and we now have much quicker adoption by new pharmacists and technicians-regardless of their age. Our quality events are down substantially as well all items that accompany those events. We have experienced substantial growth after the upgrade, which is not all due to the conversion, but I am not sure we would have been capable of handling the volume increases as well as we have.
How has the depth of resources at PDX (development teams, enhanced BI tools, etc.) helped you with your 5-year roadmap?
PDX resources have been important in helping us develop our five-year roadmap. They continue to ensure the future is being planned for and supported with various solutions. PDX is so much more than just a pill dispensing system. We have the ability to expand our business as widely as we would like and incorporate their solutions with our initiatives and systems. They are also very supportive in receiving feedback. This enables us to grow together as we mature…like any solid partnership.
How have you taken advantage of new technology to increase touch points with your customers? (mobile, Care Rx?)
We continually look at these new areas and are excited to continue incorporating these newer technologies to aid our staff in giving the best possible outcomes for our patients. Patients continue to clamor for more and more touch points as well and this really helps to satisfy their requests as we are able to integrate more PDX solutions with ones we are already have deployed.
How would you rate the ongoing support PDX extends to their pharmacies on a day-to-day basis?
Being a PDX customer for many years, we have a solid knowledge base, but they are there to help us when we need help with a new issue that may come up or just to enhance to our current knowledge. We know they are there for anything more in greater depth that we need.
Tell our readers about yourself.
What university did you attend?
I attended Wilkes University. I graduated in 2001 and was in the second class to graduate from the school of pharmacy.
How do you start your mornings?
Mornings are usually spent collecting my thoughts and commuting to work. Evenings are usually where my days are more eventful. I look forward to spending time with my kids and attending their activities…primarily being baseball, softball, and basketball.
What are your favorite pastime activities?
I enjoy playing basketball and soccer as well as rooting on my favorite team, Manchester United. Most of my free time is spent supporting my kids at their activities.
Where do you vacation?
My family and I like to vacation in Florida and New England. We particularly like to spend time at Cape Cod and Boston.
Were you born and raised in PA?
I was born and raised in New Jersey. I moved to PA for college and ended up staying afterward.
Are you a Steelers fan?
No. I grew up a San Francisco 49ers fan during the Joe Montana years.
A Phillies fan?
Yes. My dad was a Phillies fan and the rest is history. I am also a Red Sox fan via marriage.