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Specialty Medication Refill Project Wins Penn Medicine’s Rick Demers Award

female pharmacist

Congratulations to the Way to Health team, which won one of Penn Medicine’s Quality and Patient Safety Awards this year.

Way to Health’s project “Leveraging Way To Health Texting for Specialty Medication Refills” won the Rick Demers Award for demonstrating significant contributions to pharmacy practice throughout Penn Medicine. This is a new award that honors Rick Demers, MS, RPh, a nationally recognized pharmacy leader.

The project helped streamline the specialty medication filling process at Penn; instead of having technicians call patients by phone to fill prescriptions (which often took several attempts to reach the patients), Way to Health’s technology was used to initiate a text conversation with patients to process the orders. Not only has this program helped patients get the specialty medications they need, it has also helped reduce administrative burden on pharmacy staff and technicians. Over the past three years, this texting platform has been expanded to many Penn pharmacies, services lines, and specialty medications.

“We are pleased to be recognized by the health system and Penn Medicine’s Clinical Effectiveness and Quality Improvement (CEQI) team for this program that we are extremely proud of for its continued positive impact on patients, pharmacy operations, and staff,” Danielle Burkhart, PharmD, MBA, BCACP, said. “Additionally, we are happy to have our award in the new category dedicated to Rick Demers, who was instrumental in the creation of this program with his support and guidance.”

Burkhart also noted that they have increased program capacity through shortened time to reach patients by 2 days. The program’s impressive Net Promotor Score also demonstrates high patient satisfaction with this service, she added.

The team members for the project were: Danielle Burkhart, PharmD, MBA, BCACP; Joe Favatella, PharmD, MBA; Rick Demers, MS, RPh; Mohan Balachandran, MA, MS; Eugene Carelli, PharmD; Beth Dewan, RPh; Rick Fiore, RPh; Jaclyn Barone, PharmD, MHA; and Kris Zborowski, PharmD, ASQ CSSGB.

Way to Health, which is supported by CHIBE and the Center for Health Care Innovation, is a web-based platform that provides technology infrastructure for sustainable behavior change interventions.