The Right Prescription
Verteks helps BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy improve communications and protect against disaster with solutions from ShoreTel and Quorum.
Pharmacy operations have changed dramatically in the past several decades as technology has automated many of the time-consuming manual tasks associated with dispensing medicine. This not only enables pharmacies to reduce errors and increase efficiency but to focus more on customer service and patient outcomes.
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy takes that emphasis to the next level. BioPlus is a privately held, pharmacist-owned specialty pharmacy that works closely with payers and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as with prescribers, to get prompt treatment for patients requiring a range of infusion and specialty services, including for hepatitis C, cancer, bleeding disorders and other complex, chronic conditions. The company doesn’t just dispense medicine but designs individualized therapy management plans to reduce side effects and ensure that medications deliver the desired results.
Effective communication is critical in this high-touch service environment, as BioPlus directly supports patients nationwide to achieve optimal health outcomes. Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and licensed to do business in all 50 states, BioPlus operates a call center staffed with patient care coordinators who serve as a key contact point for patients. Until recently, however, BioPlus had an outdated phone system with no real call center capabilities. The company turned to Verteks Consulting for help.
“We were looking for a new phone system because our existing system didn’t have all the features and functionality we needed,” said Fred Gagle, Vice President of IT, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy. “We looked at various systems and narrowed it down to ShoreTel. And Verteks came highly recommended as a ShoreTel partner.”
Now BioPlus counts itself as one of Verteks’ satisfied customers. The Verteks team completed a painless implementation of the ShoreTel system, and deployed a disaster recovery solution that relieved a major headache for BioPlus.
“Verteks did a remarkable job with the implementation, confi guration and training of the phone system.
A Shot in the Arm
Verteks began by gaining an understanding of the pharmacy’s needs and objectives. The Verteks team then designed and implemented the ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) solution and provided training for BioPlus staff.
“The installation and training went really well. It was a smooth transition,” Gagle said. “In fact, many employees commented on how pleased they were, not only with the technology but with Verteks. Verteks did a remarkable job with the implementation, configuration and training of the phone system.
“The overall support of the phone system has been excellent as well. Verteks knows our installation and configuration, plus they are very responsive.”
The need for improved contact center capabilities was a key factor driving the move to a new phone system. The ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center solution provides BioPlus with valuable real-time reporting.
“Our patient care coordinators work with patients to arrange deliveries, make sure they are taking their medications correctly, and serve as a liaison between the doctors’ offices and pharmacists. They also call patients regarding refill reminders and to put them in touch with our financial assistance team as needed. They are there to support the ongoing care of our patients,” said Gagle.
“There are a lot of inbound and outbound calls, and many insurance plans have strict guidelines on call reporting. We didn’t really have much of a contact center solution before — we were getting our reporting from our phone bills, and it was a manual, time-consuming process. Now the ShoreTel system helps us keep track of all those metrics.”
The ShoreTel UC solution also has advanced functionality integrated into the system. Specifically, BioPlus is taking advantage of the system’s presence capabilities and mobility features.
“We use the ShoreTel Communication for instant messaging and to check the status of somebody who’s on the phone or unavailable. It has really helped improve our internal communications,” Gagle said. “We use ShoreTel Mobility as well — we can place and receive calls on our mobile devices and it looks as if we’re at work.”
The ShoreTel solution is also much easier to administer and maintain.
“It’s leaps and bounds beyond what we used to have before,” said Gagle. “The ShoreTel director is very intuitive, and Verteks did a good job training my teams so that we could administer the system on a day-to-day basis. We are able to do a lot of the small changes ourselves.”
With 124 users, training was a key component of the project. Verteks provided comprehensive training to ensure that BioPlus could gain maximum value from the system.
“Verteks was here for several days providing training in multiple sessions and doing some additional customization,” Gagle said. “I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better — the whole implementation and the technology from ShoreTel. ShoreTel is a really good company and Verteks is a really good ShoreTel partner.”
Once the ShoreTel solution was in place, Verteks worked with BioPlus to implement the Quorum onQ disaster recovery solution. The company did not have failover to a second site andwas concerned about the risk of a disaster affecting the data center. Verteks recommended Quorum.
“We had not heard of Quorum but really liked what it did,” said Gagle. “We had demoed five or six other solutions and Quorum was the most cost-effective. Also, the technology, the dashboards, the ease of administration and the features Quorum provides are unlike any of the other options we were looking at.”
The Quorum solution provides onsite backup to a high-availability appliance and data replication to the Quorum cloud. In the event of a system failure, the onsite appliance can provide recovery within minutes, while the Quorum cloud provides oneclick recovery in case of a data center disaster.
“In the past you had to set up another data center — rent floor space and cabinets and power and bring in servers and circuits and software licenses and all that. It was very expensive for us,” Gagle said. “The Quorum Solution is there when you need it but when you don’t it’s not taking up a lot of resources. It’s a very low-cost solution compared to all the other products we looked at.”
BioPlus is the epitome of the 21st-century pharmacy — efficient, technologically savvy and focused on customer service. Through its partnership with Verteks, BioPlus has further enhanced its operations with a solid communications platform and protection from disaster — solutions that support its vision to lead the innovative practice of patient-centric, outcomeoriented pharmaceutical care.