5 Things Pharmacists Do Beyond the Pharmacy Counter

11.21.17

Across CVS Health, pharmacists play an important role in helping people on their path to better health by improving access to care and lowering costs for patients. CVS pharmacists are often on the front lines of health care and do much more than fill prescriptions.

In fact, did you know that our 30,000 CVS pharmacists:

1. Administer immunizations to help prevent a range of ailments and diseases, including seasonal flu, meningitis, chicken pox, and many others. CVS pharmacists are specially trained to provide vaccine services, offering patients a safe and convenient way to stay on top of all the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

2. Provide medication counseling to help patients better understand their prescription medications. Pharmacists can answer questions about prescription drugs, help identify lower-cost alternatives or recommend pharmacy services, such as automatic refills or script consolidation programs like ScriptSync that result in fewer trips to the pharmacy. In addition, CVS pharmacists also provide counseling to improve medication adherence for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) members with chronic diseases through the Pharmacy Advisor program. Our pharmacists also provide medication reviews to check for potential unsafe interactions between different medications and to ensure that the patient’s medication regimen is appropriate.

Recently, CVS Health launched ScriptPath, a prescription management system that uses easy-to-understand icons to help patients better understand when and how to take their various prescriptions. The system, which includes a personalized prescription schedule and a soon-to-be launched prescription label and prescription overview, can enhance medication compliance and also improve patient safety.  

3. Deliver disease management education and support to patients in-store and by phone. For example, CVS pharmacists provide disease and lifestyle management support as part of the Transform Diabetes Care program for CVS Caremark PBM members with diabetes. Together, with other clinical and cost management solutions, the program aims to help improve patient outcomes and lower overall health care costs. 

In addition, specially trained pharmacists are part of therapy-specific CareTeams available to CVS Specialty patients to help them manage their complex, chronic condition(s). In fact, these pharmacists offer proactive clinical counseling and support to help manage the entire patient, including their comorbidities.

4. Help connect care via electronic health records. Through a strategic relationship with Epic, the most used electronic health record, in the U.S., CVS Health is working to help improve pharmacist access to clinical information and allow them to contribute to the patient’s care plan to improve continuity of care

In addition, through the more than 70 clinical collaborations CVS Health holds with major health systems and providers, CVS pharmacists can help support joint clinical programs by including prescription or counseling information in the electronic health record of patients served by affiliate health care organizations. This can ensure that all providers along the care continuum have access to a complete view of the patient’s prescription and medical records, which can help facilitate more informed health care decision-making.

5. Prescribe certain medications. In some states, such as California and Oregon, pharmacists are able to prescribe hormonal contraceptives, giving patients greater access to convenient care. 

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve pharmacy care, visit our Health Care Delivery & Innovation information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. And to stay informed about the most talked-about topics in health care, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.