Outside In’s Pharmacy provides access to medications and plays an important role in patient care and improving health outcomes.
Many of Outside In’s patients are struggling with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. These conditions are difficult to manage, most especially for those who do not have access to stable housing, transportation, and nourishing food. Outside In’s Pharmacy team plays a critical role in ensuring that patients receive the medications they need and have support with following their treatment plans.
Our amazing pharmacy team – Pharmacists David and Cathy, Pharmacy Technicians Omar and Roman, Pharmacy Resident Angela, and Pharmacy Director Mindy – are incredibly valuable to our health services program and we’re so thrilled to share more about their work with all of you!
Our Pharmacists Do More Than Just Fill Prescriptions
Our pharmacy team is busy! Last year, they filled over 16,000 prescriptions for over 1,800 patients. But they don’t just fill prescriptions! Staff meet with patients to answer questions about their medications and can also help with any trouble shooting to make sure patients get the medicine they need. The team also does medication therapy management, helping look over a patient’s prescriptions to look for any medication related problems. They also support with helping patients adhere to their treatment plan and monitoring whether patients are filling all their medications at the appropriate times.
Our pharmacists also play an important role in supporting patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and providing treatment to patients with Hepatitis C, ensuring that patients receive the care they need to manage their chronic conditions.
“I love our patients and our clients. People are so thankful and appreciative of the work that we do. It is great to be focused on caring for an individual and to have something in place so if someone can’t afford their medications, they still have access.” ~Outside In Pharmacy Staff Member
Why Do We Have An Onsite Pharmacy?
Having a pharmacy in our clinic is so important. Our pharmacists are able to collaborate with our medical providers, and having access to the patients’ medical records provides additional insight into what is going on with a patient that a retail pharmacy might not have. For example, having access to patient lab results influences our medication recommendations.
Additionally, we are able to offer options to people who are not able to afford the cost of their medications. Where a patient might be told that they can’t have their medications at a retail pharmacy – we are able to work with them to find solutions.
Without a pharmacy, we would send our patients offsite for their prescription needs. However, for those patients who are uninsured or underinsured (about 71% of the patients our pharmacy serves), it would be extremely difficult for them to access free and low-cost medications.
“I chose to work at Outside In’s Pharmacy to work with more diverse patients than I ever had before and in a clinic setting. I have enjoyed seeing our pharmacy grow to offer more medications and more one-on-one patient interactions. I appreciate the opportunity to work with a knowledgeable, hard-working, and problem-solving team of pharmacists and technicians. Every day I am inspired by the actions of all the dedicated staff here at Outside In. I am so grateful to be a part of Outside In.”
~Outside In Pharmacy Staff Member
What if Someone Can’t Afford Their Medication?
We know how important it is for patients to have the medicine they need. Fortunately, by participating in the 340b drug discount program, we are able to provide medications at a discount and offer them on a sliding fee scale to help patients afford the costs of their prescriptions. And if a patient is unable to pay, we have options to help us provide patients with some medications at no cost to them. If a patient needs a medication that we are unable to provide at no cost, we can work with them to explore prescription assistance programs to cover the cost of the medications they need.
New Space! Not in a Restroom Anymore!
For the first ten and a half years of its existence, our pharmacy operated out of a tiny space that had once been a restroom. Last year, Outside In received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and private donors to expand our pharmacy space. Renovations were completed last October, and it has made a huge difference to our pharmacy operations! We’ve been able to install a register system, create a separate office space for meeting with patients (in person pre-COVID, telepharmacy during COVID-19!). The new space has also helped us to expand the number of medications we carry and improve our dispensing and quality assurance processes. And of course, having the larger space has enabled us to stay open during the pandemic – as our staff are able to remain physically distanced from each other and our patients.
What’s Next for the Pharmacy?
Our team is working on expanding our clinical pharmacy offerings and supporting our patients living with chronic conditions, like diabetes. Our pharmacists will help patients reach their treatment goals and improve their health outcomes. The pharmacy team will be working with our medical providers to establish collaborative practice agreements that will allow our pharmacists to take a more active role in patient care. We are fortunate to have a Pharmacy Resident, Angela, who is helping get this project off the ground! When it is complete, we will be able to provide even better care to our patients.
We are so Grateful for our Pharmacy Team!
Our pharmacy team continues to come onsite every day during the pandemic to ensure that our patients have access to the medications they need and can ask questions of our knowledgeable staff. Our team believes in the importance of trauma-informed and gender-affirming care – and treating every patient with the compassion, dignity, and respect they deserve. We are so lucky to have such a caring and dedicated team of people in our clinic!!
It is because of you – our community –
that Outside In is able to save the lives of thousands of people each year.
We would love to hear from you!
Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions with us.
We are grateful for your support!
Your support of Outside In creates health and hope for the more than 11,000 people we serve every year. We can’t say it enough: THANK YOU!