Long-Term Care Challenges and Solutions

Q&A with Cory Meyer, Chief Experience Officer with The PharmEase Group

Tell us how you ended up working at The PharmEase Group.

In 2016, I had the chance to take another athletics job, but the opportunity came up to work with The PharmEase Group, in Idaho Falls, with their external team. Making the switch to work for The PharmEase Group allowed me to move back to my hometown and spend time with my ailing mother. I was able to spend time with her during her final stages of life. So, after a 20-year stint in athletics marketing and outside my hometown, I was able to bring my kids and family home, which was a very valuable thing to me.

How is The PharmEase Group’s mission reflected in Heartland Pharmacy and Compound Preferred? 

We are family-focused internally and with our partners. We go above and beyond to ensure our partners receive the best experience because we truly care about our partners. While we may not be perfect, we quickly act to rectify situations when we find things aren’t up to par.

We try to keep things simple – if we make business cumbersome, that just creates more work for our partners to manage, and that isn’t solution-driven. Especially in this day and age, we want to reduce cumbersome tasks for staff, so they can enrich the experience for our residents.

What are some challenges in the world of long-term care right now?

Luckily for us, we’ve only had a small amount of turnover. For the most part, with over 200 employees, we have had fairly good retention. Many of our employees have been here a long time, with several having tenure for as long as we’ve been in business.

Unfortunately, there’s more turnover on the community level. I heard a statistic that a quarter million nurses have left long-term care and have not come back due to Covid-19. This causes a challenge both in labor and money. It takes more time to find and train new staff, and it costs more to do so. 

To help alleviate this burden, we have initiated more training opportunities for our communities. We already provide training videos for various aspects of the pharmacy-community partnership. Most recently, we’ve started a monthly training opportunity through Zoom, where any one of our partners can jump on for questions they have.

How is Heartland Pharmacy specifically addressing these issues, internally and externally?

This might seem really strange, but these challenges have allowed us to better understand what the customer and partner experience is, and it’s been able to bring us closer to our partners and become better at serving our communities. We’ve been able to get to know more communities and people and become more closely involved because we’ve been in these challenges together. We truly are partners through the thick and thin of life in long-term care.

What do you wish people in long-term care knew? 

They need to know that their heroism is highly appreciated. They do their job well, as they are making sacrifices, traveling, working double shifts, and doing extra tasks like cooking and cleaning. I just really want them to know how much they are appreciated. We are experiencing 2022 together!

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