Jami Jarrett, BSN, RN, manager, medication management specialists, PPG Call Center, offers details on a helpful resource for Parkview patients on a new or existing prescription medicine.
Can you share an overview of the medication management specialist role?
The medication management specialist (MMS) role was developed and implemented in August of 2022, as we identified a need to assist the PPG Primary Care offices with medication refills. Each MMS is a pharmacy tech. Initially, we started with two MMSs and have grown to a team of six, handling refills for 17 Primary Care offices.
What services can an MMS assist patients with?
This team works from an in basket that communicates with our patient medical records system, where refill requests come in from pharmacies, via MyChart and via an automated refill assistant that will be added to the after visit summary (AVS) for the offices that are live with the MMS refills. The team handles over 3,000 refill requests a week with an average turnaround time of less than one day.
What will using the MMS service look like from the patient’s perspective?
When a patient calls into one of the 17 offices using MMS support and chooses the option for a medication refill, they will be prompted that they can receive a text message to do the refill, or they can opt to talk to a team member.
If they opt for the text message, they will be sent a text that has specific questions used to verify identity. Once verified, they can choose which medication they want refilled. This takes just a few minutes, and the refill request is routed to an in basket that the MMS team will review.
If they opt to talk to a team member, the call is answered by the MMS team and handled at that time per the medication refill policy.
Are there instances when a refill would not be approved by an MMS?
The MMS team works off of Parkview’s Medication Refill Policy and Standard Operating Procedures. These are the rules that will guide their decisions. Requests come in from a pharmacy or the patient. The pharmacies will send refill requests on behalf of the patient, or even automatically when they see a patient has picked up their last refill. If the patient makes the request, and the refill falls outside of the parameters of the policies, the MMS will send the request back to the office to review and make the final determination.
Would an MMS be the team member to answer patient medication questions?
They would not. Any questions related to a new or existing prescription, potential side effects, etc. would be transferred to a nurse at the Access Center for further guidance.
What are the key benefits to Parkview offering MMS support through the Access Center?
The biggest benefit is the fact that their role frees up the office staff’s time to spend with the patients who are currently there, while the MMS team works on the refills.
What do the MMSs like about this role, compared to a traditional pharmacy position?
Many of the MMS team has been in a pharmacy-related role for 10+ years. They enjoy working individually on refills while having the support of a team to help answer questions.
How can a patient contact an MMS?
If a patient goes to one of the PPG – Primary Care offices included in the MMS program, they will be connected by choosing the refill option and then speak with an agent when they call the office.