Data-Driven Insight: The Future For Specialty Pharmacies?

Ever heard the tech-measurement term exabyte? Think of it this way: If conventional email etiquette places the limit of acceptable file-attachment size at roughly 10 megabytes, a single exabyte is the equivalent of 100 billion giant-sized email attachments. Now consider this: By 2020, the total amount of data generated by the healthcare system is projected to grow to 2314 exabytes.

“It goes without saying,” notes Founders Investment Banking VP Chris Weingartner, “the healthcare industry today is increasingly about data. We’ve advised a number of specialty pharmacy owners in the past. It’s clear to us that the future belongs to organizations who do the best job of collecting and managing not just data, but meaningful data.”

Proprietary data at users’ fingertips

Which is one reason why Weingartner’s group is particularly enthusiastic about Dromos PTM. “We’ve conducted an in-depth comparative study of patient therapy management systems, and nothing comes close to Dromos — both in its ability to collect patient data and in its extraordinary wealth of manufacturer-produced drug information. All of which the system places right at the fingertips of Pharmacy Advantage’s pharmacists and clinicians.

“The proprietary patient information they’ve collected since 2014 — from in-depth descriptions of individual treatment programs to detailed records on adherence and outcomes — has manufacturers lining-up for access contracts. After all, once drugs are approved for sale and release, manufacturers aren’t in a position to gather data on them in the same way they do during clinical trials. But they still want new data moving forward — both to improve the drugs they’re making, and to develop new drugs.”

Better income. More importantly, better patient support.

“During Pharmacy Advantage’s first three years with the software system,” notes Dromos PTM product manager Tony Kocevski, “we generated more than $770,000 of income from data-related contracts with drug manufacturers. But what’s far more important to our mission is the positive impact it’s had on our ability to serve more patients than ever before.

“Obviously, we now have at our fingertips more and better information on every patient we serve. But Dromos also provides business insights we didn’t previously have — both on our overall performance and on virtually every detail of operational efficiency. All of which is why, three years after launching Dromos, we’re now able to serve more than triple the patients we served before the launch.

“And here’s the most important part,” continues Tony — an experienced pharmacy professional himself. “We’re delivering better support for each patient we serve because our clinicians now have more time to spend with each patient they serve. Once the basic patient information is entered, there’s no duplication of effort (like there was in the past) — and we build on our information base with each personal interaction.”

Personal counseling patients genuinely appreciate

“As we counsel patients, we ask them specific questions about what they’re experiencing; how the drug impacts their daily life and functioning. An important part of both our training as specialty pharmacists, and our consultive relationship with patients, is knowing what questions to ask.”

By offering pharmacists general guidance and the freedom to personalize assessment questions, Dromos PTM gives patients the info they need to properly self-manage their complex therapies. They’re clearly seeing a benefit to participating in our ongoing patient management program. “Our opt-in participation rate is over 90%,” says Tony, “and patients who drop-out typically don’t until after one to two years in the program. Which is why it really isn’t an exaggeration to say that the data we’ve gathered to benefit patient outcomes is invaluable.”

Thinking ahead. Thinking big.

One of the development team’s long-term goals is achieving a perfect marriage of financial and health data — fully integrating its capabilities with the various EMR systems on the market (the system already integrates into the McKesson’s ERx — and is compatible with the popular Epic EHR system). “If they can achieve that goal,” says Weingartner, “Dromos could literally become a central link of data systems across the healthcare spectrum.”