Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Kelly Morrison, Director of Remote and Retail Pharmacy Services for Cardinal Health & Mark Chaparro, Director of Pharmacy for CaroMont Health

Kelly Morrison serves as Director of Remote and Retail Pharmacy Services at Cardinal Health & Mark Chaparro serves as Director of Pharmacy at CaroMont Health.

On April 2nd, Kelly and Mark will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Kelly and Mark's session, click here.

Question: What is the biggest evolution you've seen among the hospitals/health systems you work with over the past 2-3 years?

Kelly Morrison: One of the biggest evolutions I’ve seen among health systems over the past few years is the need to ‘do more with less.’  With continued reimbursement changes, health systems can no longer focus on patients only while they’re in the hospital, so there’s a heavy focus on developing transitions of care programs that enable health systems to follow the patient throughout the health care continuum. To ensure patient adherence to care plans post-discharge requires that hospitals further expand their clinical reach and provide greater access within their communities. Many of these programs are led by the pharmacy, such as medication adherence, discharge counseling, medication therapy management, medication home delivery, expansion of pharmacy services to health system clinics and long-term care facilities, as well as several telehealth services provided directly to the patients at their homes and in community clinic settings.

Mark Chaparro: There have been so many changes — I agree with Kelly that health care reform is a standout and the biggest change that I’ve personally experienced at my health system. It has shifted the way that health systems approach patient care: rather than focusing solely on patients’ conditions during their hospital stays, health systems are now considering patients’ health holistically. Integrating the continuum approach involves many providers across multiple settings, including primary care physicians, specialists and acute care to ensure that the overall health of the patient is considered, and to ensure that this information is shared to complete the patient’s health puzzle.

Q: Most people understand innovation as starting something new. The lesser-discussed side of innovation is when you stop something. What is one thing health systems would benefit from stopping, quitting or banning?

MC: Health systems should continually assess the value of tools and programs from a patient’s perspective. This perspective is challenging to apply, though, because most heath systems still operate in silos, and therefore it’s difficult to see and evaluate the total patient experience.  As a result, it is difficult to identify non-value-added resources that could be stopped. Yet tackling this challenge and adopting a patient’s perspective will allow us to break down the silos, to work more efficiently, be more productive and in the end, provide exceptional health care to our patients.  

KM: Health systems are no different from other organizations in the need to continually evaluate the “build versus buy” question when considering new programs and services.  We see a pattern of health systems who attempt to “re-invent the wheel” as they try to independently develop programs or technology, when those may be readily available in the industry. It’s critically important that health systems aren’t distracted from their mission, and their core competencies, when improvements can be applied through solutions that already exist in the marketplace.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

MC: I see innovation happening at the individual patient level, so I disagree that it’s not happening or not happening quickly.  While health care is extremely complex, at the center of this complex system is the patient – each one with different needs and expectations.  In order for each and every patient to receive the best possible individual care, health systems must work extremely hard – and be innovative – to provide a safe and reliable system.  There are multiple healthcare providers all striving to be innovative and proactive in the delivery of patient care. 

KM: I believe that health systems are trying to innovate as quickly as they can at an organization-wide level, yet driving innovation is one of several competing priorities for hospital leadership. In addition, the payoff for innovation improvements underway can take time – yet sometimes we get impatient and want immediate results.  Moreover, when innovation requires integration of multiple systems or coordination across multiple parties and agencies, there can be further delays. Yet in order to enable health systems to collaborate and coordinate care and information needed to follow the patient throughout the healthcare continuum, this level of innovation is absolutely critical – and inherently will take time to accomplish.

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