Pharmacy Technology Changes the Way Sunflower Pharmacy Serves Local Community x

The sunflower is a hardy plant that stands tall and drops seeds where it stands. That also describes the Sunflower Pharmacy in Ruleville, Mississippi. Set in the rural Mississippi Delta, 100 miles from the nearest metropolitan area, the Sunflower Pharmacy is part of the North Sunflower Hospital. It was just ten years ago that the North Sunflower Hospital was on the verge of closing its doors. Folks would drive past it and go to a hospital 10 miles away. The local governing body was at a loss as to how to fix it. Enter Billy Marlow, a respected Ruleville businessman with no prior background in the healthcare industry. His field was land development and construction. He was named Chairman of the Board as well as interim hospital administrator. Hospital is Saved by Local Businessman “I was born in that hospital,” says Marlow, “so it had a special place in my heart. “ Closing the hospital could have been a community travesty. The unemployment rate runs 15% or higher, with agriculture, the prison system and the hospital as the main employers. Marlow saw a lot of potential and had some innovative but common-sense ideas. These stemmed from a simple formula his business-minded father-in-law shared with him: you better bring in more money than you send out. Sunflower Hospital and Pharmacy are Born Marlow’s rallying cry was “the Sunflower way.” He increased the cash flow by purchasing more nursing home beds. The clinic, which had been hidden behind the hospital and was underused, is now placed prominently out front. It stays open until midnight, 7 days a week, 364 days a year, keeping non-emergency patients out of the emergency room, which saves money for both hospital and patient. Marlow convinced three separate pharmacies to join forces to become the Sunflower Pharmacy. He promised the owners who partnered with him a brand new, state-of-the-art facility complete with the latest automated pharmacy management system. The Automated Pharmacy Makes Facility Contemporary Michael Gilbow, Director of Pharmacy, can hardly hide his enthusiasm. “We’re in the top 40 cleanest hospitals in the nation. We have a state-of-the-art surgery center, swing beds, a clinic open 18 hours a day, and the only pharmacy in Mississippi with an RxMedic robot.” As owner of his own drugstore, Gilbow had long been a QS1 software client. Although QS1 software can interface with other systems, he felt better about staying with the RxMedic robot because of the reputation for quality and service. “We are connected to the clinic,” says Gilbow. “Our patients can see the doctor, and by the time they check out and walk down the 40 foot hall, their medications are automatically dispensed and ready.” So far, the automated dispensing system has filled as many as 550 prescriptions in one day, and Gilbow has confidence it will do much more as the business continues to grow. Sunflower Pharmacy is expanding into compounding medications. “This,” says Gilbow, “is the art of pharmacy taken to another level. We will give our patients the best service, the best medical care, the best price. We are willing to go that extra mile to make people happy, make them come back.” Whether they walk down the 40 foot hall from the clinic, come inside the pharmacy, use the drive-up window, or receive free delivery within a 20-mile radius by The Medicine Dropper, they do come back. Now people in the community in need of medical care drive 10 miles to North Sunflower Hospital and the Sunflower Pharmacy. Published at: