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After experiencing 1,250% growth in business in less than four years, Right Dose Pharmacy of Cedar Rapids recently relocated its headquarters to a larger facility. “We really needed both space and the appropriate layout of a facility to accommodate an increase in staffing and a need to improve workflow both in the pharmacy and for our many couriers, who are in and out at a variety of hours,” Right Dose Pharmacy President Rockford Anderson said. At almost two-and-a-half times the size of the former location, the 13,000-square foot building just off Blairs Ferry Road NE allows the long-term care (LTC) pharmacy to increase its operations efficiently and safely. Unlike a retail pharmacy, an LTC pharmacy is solely focused on providing specialty pharmacy services and consulting to communities such as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, independent living and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “From safety and medication accuracy to help with prescription drug plans and billing, our pharmacy team works collaboratively to ensure that a resident’s medication combinations are safe, eliminate errors during the med pass, reduce costs and minimize billing questions,” Mr. Anderson said. Consultant pharmacists conduct multiple audits to help LTC communities increase efficiency and maintain compliance with state and federal regulations, he added. The team also provides onsite training sessions and continuing education courses, and works with staff on best medication management practices to reduce errors. “As a locally owned pharmacy, delivering the highest quality resident care is personal for our team. It’s why we invested in a facility that not only supports our current and future growth but expands our technology capabilities and services,” Mr. Anderson said. “With our new pharmacy, we can enhance our medication packaging system and increase our IV and durable medical equipment services, among other benefits, to meet the needs of the Eastern Iowa LTC community.” The advanced technology allows Right Dose to offer medication packaging that separates dosages down to the day and hour, ensuring residents receive the right medications at the right time. “Filling scripts is ever-evolving, and we are proud to remain at the forefront of the technology available to us in this area,” Mr. Rockford said. “Strip packaging continues to emerge as the gold standard from a safety standpoint, largely due to the automation involved that reduces medication error rates significantly. While this is somewhat about allowing a machine to fill a card or a strip pack, it is also about its photo-checking abilities to catch any error that might have gotten through.” There are several ways technology is assisting Right Dose in decreasing drug diversion and error rates both at the pharmacy and facility level, he added. Electronic e-kits and dispensing systems reduce diversion and offer independence to people needing medication management assistance. Right Dose’s partnership with Guardian Pharmacy Services – one of the nation’s largest LTC pharmacy companies, with 38 locations in 26 states – allows the company to be ahead of the curve when it comes to pharmacy technology, Mr. Anderson said. The Ankeny-based company, which opened its Cedar Rapids location in 2017 in a small strip mall it shared with a few other tenants at Coldstream Avenue and 29th Street NE, anticipates client growth to continue, and plans to hire additional employees by the end of this year. “We are always looking for excellent pharmacy techs,” Mr. Anderson said, adding that as in all sectors, hiring has been more challenging lately. “If you are great with customers, then our data team is the place for you as you will answer customer calls. If filling is your preference, then this is a fast-paced environment with a variety of types of packaging to work with. Couriers are a vital part of what we do.” Relationships have been key to the company’s rapid growth. “Our business model is unique in the way we partner with our customers to be much more than the entity that provides them medications,” Mr. Anderson said. As the company expands into its new space, it will focus on balancing growth and customer service. “How do we provide the best services most affordably while still remaining your local Iowa-based pharmacy,” he explained. “Our goal is to never lose our local teams, leadership or warehousing so that our partners know they can get the advantages of a larger pharmacy right here in Iowa.” CBJ