Rocking Horse clinic opens new pharmacy to speed service for patients

A grand opening ceremony was held for the Rocking Horse Center Pharmacy Friday, June 24, 2022. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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A grand opening ceremony was held for the Rocking Horse Center Pharmacy Friday, June 24, 2022. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

A new in-house pharmacy at the Rocking Horse Foundation clinic will help streamline communication and get prescriptions into patients’ hands faster, officials said.

The new pharmacy on the second floor of the building at 651 S Limestone Street helps alleviate communication struggles between the clinic’s medical providers and out-of-building pharmacies.

To honor the pharmacy’s move into full hours, Rocking Horse staff held a grand opening Friday. Purple and blue balloons lined the entrance to the pharmacy window, complete with a ceremonial ribbon strung across the entrance. Cupcakes and smoothies were offered, along with educational bags and a nutritional information station.

By then, the pharmacy had already completed a few prescriptions, mostly to test systems. The first prescription was for patient and employee Dianne Stimpson, who works as a registered nurse at Rocking Horse.

Although hers was the first prescription to be processed by the facility, it went smoothly and simplified the process of picking up medications, she said.

Erin Hanson, the Rocking Horse Foundation pharmacy director, said retail pharmacies sometimes struggle to communicate with their providers when verifying patient prescriptions.

Certain prescriptions require prior authorization for insurance, and the patient’s doctor must fill out authorization paperwork. That communication could sometimes be delayed by lack of connection between the doctors and pharmacies.

Having an in-house pharmacy will help to alleviate such delays, Hanson said. While patients are in appointments, their provider can input the prescriptions as they are discussed, kickstarting the filling process.

“It takes maybe 60 seconds to two minutes for it to transmit to our software. But once that provider has sent the prescription up, we take maybe 10 to 15 minutes, make sure everything is typed correctly, and it’s an appropriate medication for the patient.” Hanson said. “And then we go ahead and fill that and then the patient is ready to come upstairs and get that prescription.”

Non-English-speaking patients will benefit from the pharmacy’s translator programming. This helps to ensure patients are getting all of the information needed when picking up prescriptions, Hanson said.

Rocking Horse Chief Medical Officer Yamini Teegala emphasized the danger of patients not receiving all the information when dealing with larger pharmacies. The connection between doctors and pharmacy at Rocking Horse will help that.

The Rocking Horse pharmacy will provide tutorials for various medical instruments patients are provided, Hanson said. This includes demonstrating how to inject insulin and properly handle needles.

“We’ve been very blessed with the pharmacies that we have worked with in this community. And they in no shape or form are in any competition. This is more like collaboration,” Teegala said.

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