Regardless of location or demographics, community healthcare providers should embrace certain core services, including the social determinants impacting area residents.
Providers should embrace the following core services: provide quality expertise, keep the whole patient healthy, and be an integral part of a patient’s healthcare team, according to Nimesh Jhaveri, MBA, RPh, president of Health Mart Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy franchise with more than 5,000 locally-owned community pharmacies across all 50 states.
Jhaveri joined a panel in the Communities at the Crossroads of Health track during HLTH event on Sunday, October 27, 2019, in Las Vegas. He presented “Tailoring to Your Unique Population,” and shared care plans that address the challenges different communities face.
“A bustling city in the Northeast, a rural Midwest town or an oceanside West Coast community all seem similar on the surface but getting to the root of the local issues they face may require homegrown solutions,” he says.
“I think it’s tempting for healthcare professionals to come in, rinse-and-repeat and do quality work in their community,” Jhaveri says. “But we must dig into the specific needs of the patient, roll up our sleeves and customize our care to the population. We’re seeing healthcare providers cater to their community in new ways. New Oakland Pharmacy in California hired pharmacy staff who speak five different languages—that’s incredible! Our role as healthcare providers is evolving and leadership needs to not only recognize the trend but commit resources to supporting community programs.”
According to Jhaveri, community providers should embrace these three tenets:
- Provide quality expertise. Pharmacists can provide medication therapy and education ensuring the right treatment for patients. This also builds trust with patients. Trust is paramount in local care.
- Keep the whole patient healthy. “This is no longer an option, it’s a must-have,” he says. “From immunizations to weight control to smoking cessation, we need to provide diverse services and counsel on health, wellness and prevention.”
- Be an integral part of the healthcare team. “Pharmacists need to lean in and become an active member of the patient’s care team,” Jhaveri says. “We need to move from order takers to strategic partners and be the leader in the therapy of our patients.”
“When a patient facing an illness walks in to see a provider, they don’t care about your bottom line, if you’ll be reimbursed correctly, or if you take their insurance,” Jhaveri says. “They care about getting healthy again and the social determinants they may have to overcome to make that happen. Social support is key. We need to partner with organizations in our communities that offer this as a service to our patients. Quality healthcare is a marathon of consistency, not a sprint of intensity. For community healthcare providers, this means providing quality care each day to achieve meaningful results."