December 4, 2019

*The *freeCare Plan for Pharmacists

Why DocStation is giving away their version of the eCare plan.

In June 2020, DocStation released a free version of the Pharmacist eCare Plan. This article talks about why we chose to do that and how we plan to help pharmacists do more for patients.

*If you’re reading this, we assume you have a basic understanding of the Pharmacist eCare Plan, what it does, and why it’s important. If not, we recommend starting with this article we published on the nuts & bolts: ***The Pharmacist eCare Plan: decoding a technology standard to advance practice.**

If you have a pulse on community pharmacy, you know about the Pharmacist eCare Plan. The Pharmacist eCare Plan is a technology standard which its advocates say will transform pharmacy from a product-focused to a patient-centered profession.

The eCare Plan is intended for interoperability — exchanging data with hospitals and outpatient providers. However, it’s coming to market as a payer requirement for pharmacists who wish to obtain clinical reimbursement.

It has potential, but its fate relies heavily on widespread adoption and meaningful application. To reach the promised land, a few things must fall into place.

The eCare Conundrum

*Note: I’m in no way, shape, or form disparaging the eCare Plan. I helped develop it from the ground up. I preached its utility from Day 1. I am, however, about to ask some tough questions.*

#1 - Utility

We are busy. If you work in a pharmacy, there are so many things to get done in a given day. Additional activities are a burden and take time. Time is money. If we’re spending time and money on the eCare Plan, we’re surely getting something in return, right?

*The first question is simply: *Why am I sending eCare Plans?

Can I send care plans to other providers? Can I receive care plans from other providers? Can I use it to track my performance? Can I compare my performance to my peers? Will it make my peers accept me? Will it lower my DIR Fees? Will it lead to payer contracts? Does it provide value to payers? Does it provide value to patients? Will I actually get paid for this?

#2 - Usability

We’ve been in practice far too long to add one more crappy piece of software to our workflow. I’ve used most of them…and most of them are terrible. And that’s not unique to pharmacy. Ask a physician how much they love their EHR.