HealthTrust’s Pharmacy Solutions creates opportunities for success
Shortly after his promotion to Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Prime Healthcare, David Silverman, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, found himself confronting two realties: His team was broadly distributed across the healthcare system’s 45 hospitals in 14 states, and the organization needed to optimize their therapeutics standards.
Prime Healthcare had begun its partnership with HealthTrust in 2018, and the following year, Silverman decided to strengthen his pharmacy team and improve their pharmacy operations. He turned to HealthTrust’s Pharmacy Solutions team.
“Pharmacy Solutions partners with hospitals and health systems to help them realize their opportunities and move toward being successful in strategy development and implementation,” says Aigner George, PharmD, HealthTrust’s AVP of Pharmacy Solutions. Engagements span the gamut—from improving operational performance and organizational structure to developing strength in leadership.
Silverman and George started their partnership by implementing additional systemwide pharmacy and therapeutics standards. “HealthTrust really helped us in the beginning to formulate our corporate medication management and pharmacy standards,” Silverman explains.
HealthTrust’s Pharmacy Solutions team assisted Silverman’s team in navigating the path to a system-level medication management and formulary strategy that took into account the clinical and regional nuances, rather than a “one size fits all” approach for the health system’s locations. They also helped to create a national drug shortage mitigation workflow, a contract review process and a vendor strategy.
HealthTrust Pharmacy Solutions provided guidance on getting the most out of the GPO’s offerings, including how to identify the best suppliers for the team at Prime to work with. “Having a dedicated person who’s helping you from that side of the business makes it much easier to navigate, and nothing falls through the cracks,” adds Silverman. “It’s essentially having a GPO expert integrated into your team who brings the best experience of the other organization with them. That’s been very helpful.”
With an operations strategy and systemwide standards in place, Silverman worked with George on strengthening his pharmacy team. As a healthcare performance improvement organization, HealthTrust can assist members with more than GPO savings—leadership development and team building are just two of the areas, shares George. “Helping our partners develop and sustain strong and efficient teams is key to their ability to effectively launch and maintain initiatives.”
HealthTrust’s Pharmacy Solutions team took a two-pronged approach in providing leadership development and team-building support to Silverman and his team.
George shared tools to help Silverman assess his leadership style and delivered one-on-one coaching to help him navigate the nuances of leading a team. And, because of COVID restrictions in place at that time, it was particularly important to share how to keep up team morale.
Developing the team meant establishing a sense of belonging, George says. “You evolve into an effective team by getting to know each other and by establishing steps toward inclusion. It doesn’t matter if team members ‘like’ each other or not, it matters if they respect and can depend on each other.”
George set up a web-based team meeting and began by asking all participants to turn on their cameras. She then led them through a series of activities that allowed them to get to know each other on a personal level—who they are as parents, as volunteers in their communities, as sports fans—as well as their communication and thinking styles, so if someone takes a while to respond to an email, for example, it’s with the understanding that that person likes to give things some thought before responding.
“We have to be respectful of our colleagues,” says George, “and make sure that we’re being inclusive of different dimensions of diversity, which include how we think.”
Those exercises were effective, Silverman shares. “She helped me lead and develop my team, and all team members became more effective with managing their own respective locations.”
Of all the benefits Silverman gets from his partnership with HealthTrust’s Pharmacy Solutions, what he values most, he says, is the one-on-one, personal support he gets from George. The two have weekly check-in phone calls to talk about what he is experiencing on the job.
“It’s important to make sure that when we are engaged with a member, we’re not just having simple discussions around what we did and what the next step is,” George says about those weekly conversations. “I really want to know how our members feel the engagement is moving along and how we can be a better partner.”
“Having that liaison to ask questions and really help you navigate the process is truly invaluable,” Silverman says. “It enables us to make decisions that are better informed.”
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