Specialty Pharmacy and the Patient Journey

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Specialty Pharmacy By the Numbers

A new trend is emerging as health system-based specialty pharmacies become a staple in the industry: Physicians and pharmacists are now collaborating to improve the overall patient journey. Health systems are integrating care delivery in a more comprehensive way that results in high-quality, efficient care that better meets patients’ needs.

Specialty pharmacy plays a significant role in patient care and greatly impacts the overall patient journey. Patient access to specialty pharmacy products from within the health system completes the circle for a truly integrated health care approach.

Specialty Pharmacy and the Patient Journey

Pharmacy is the most frequently used health benefit and is an influential factor when patients determine their overall satisfaction with the care they received. An integrated specialty pharmacy allows health systems to maintain key patient relationships, which results in improved continuity of care.

These integrated specialty pharmacies are improving the patient journey in a variety of ways:

Specialty Pharmacy is Critical to Seamless Care Coordination — Pharmacies are a rich source for patient data collection. By utilizing this data and investing time in patient consulting and follow-up, onsite health system specialty pharmacists can help ensure their patients are receiving higher quality care, better therapeutic outcomes and improved satisfaction rates.

Collaboration — Professional collaboration is fast becoming an important component of the patient journey. All members of the health system provider team have access to the electronic medical records that cover the patient’s condition and medication history. Because all this data is in one place, pharmacists and physicians can work with a more complete picture of the patient’s health.

A Forecast for Health System Specialty Pharmacies — This integrated, collaborative clinical environment minimizes waste and optimizes clinical outcomes. Patients want to interact with one centralized care team rather than receive services from a variety of providers who may require multiple appointments.

Why Health Care Professionals are Excited

Health care professionals are enthusiastic about this new integrated and collaborative environment because it maximizes clinical outcomes.

  • Physicians and pharmacists are creating more seamless processes.
  • Providers who are collaborating in clinic spaces and caring for patients alongside a pharmacist are already seeing the benefits.
  • Some health systems can put pharmacists in every specialty clinic according to the specialty, ensuring patients receive a new level of expertise and personalized care.
  • Pharmacists can work with patients directly to reduce the time-to-fill and directly impact medication adherence in partnership with physicians.


The patient journey is changing and health system specialty pharmacy offers providers a new way to collaborate in a more compassionate way that improves clinical outcomes for patients. The benefit for health systems is better management for patient conditions, extended patient care to non-acute settings, increased adherence, reduced time to therapy, and more efficient approaches for managing complex disease states. Soon, this level of care will be expected by every patient.

Want to read more about specialty pharmacy and the patient journey? Read the extended article on Specialty Pharmacy Times.

Chris Hatwig