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April 22, 2020

MNHC Responding to the Needs of High-Risk Patients

MNHC Pharmacy also wanted to directly contribute to this pandemic by doing what they know best, dispensing medication to those who need it most. The Pharmacy Director, Yrama Laria-Jensen and her team started working over a month ago on a new workflow to be able to facilitate the delivery medications to high-risk patients to their home.

The Pharmacy team was able to identify 257 high-risk patients. Thus far, MNHC Pharmacy has delivered 3-month supply of medication to nearly 30% of them (81 patients). This has meant that such patients have been able to remain safer and in place. MNHC has also assisted them financially as the deliveries are free of charge and for those who are uninsured, they do not have to cover their co-pay. “Patients are feeling reassured and grateful. We are happy to be supporting them through these trying times as many patients have lost their jobs.” Yrama stated.

The new workflow, which consists of making calls to set up delivery with patients, filling and verifying prescriptions, and then preparing the packages and labels for delivery; it is taking place at the same time as the Pharmacy continues to attend to the regular workflow of patients that come into the MNHC Shotwell Clinic.

Budgeting was problematic at first for the Pharmacy team, as they had to figure out the cost attached to this new additional service including the no co-pay fee to many patients. In addition, setting up a brand new workflow while continuing to provide services to a large volume of patients in Clinic, was very challenging. However, MNHC staff stepped up to help. This led for Daniel Flores (Lead HIV Testing Counselor from Latino Wellness Center) and Jennifer Martinez (Youth Services Health Educator from Teen Clinic) to join the existing Pharmacy team who are: Yrama Laria-Jensen (Pharmacy Director), Charmi Shah (Part-time Pharmacist), Mary Vasquez (Pharmacy Technician) and Ana Espinoza (Pharmacy Technician).

They review regularly their new workflow to optimize it and “the new MNHC team members bring new ideas and energy” mentioned Yrama.

The Pharmacy Director states that she is grateful about the staff addition to her team during these trying times as they provide invaluable extra support. “This is extraordinary – circumstance – that illustrates a high level of adaptability and agility in our response in the face of this unprecedented event”. Yrama concludes.

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