The attitude adjustment the health-care industry has undergone is just fine with Spokane pharmacist Sarah Greener.
Greener, who operates Inland Pharmaceutical Services here with her husband, Gary, says that as more medical professionals and patients fight ailments with a combination of education, medicine, exercise, and nutrition rather than focusing only on disease and death management, patients are gaining more independence.
That fits well with the bulk of Inland Pharmaceuticals work, which involves delivering medications and medical supplies to older residents here, helping them to keep their lives in motion.
It used to be that we caught people on the back end of treatment and life, Sarah Greener says. Now its more preventative. With the right education and care plan up front, we empower patients to become healthier people.
The Greeners own Maximum Health Care Concepts Inc., which does business as Inland Pharmaceutical. They also own franchise operations of Option Home Health Care and Option Care, which offer home health care and infusion-drug pharmacy services, respectively, and are part of an Illinois-based chain. The three operating entities share a 12,000-square-foot space at 1328 N. Ash.
By the end of this year, the Greeners plan to expand the companies space to 14,000 square feet to add more room for conferencing areas, where medical staff members can examine and work one-on-one with patients, and for a growing wholesale medical-supplies operation.
Were anticipating a lot of growth in those areas, she says. I definitely think the baby boomers will have an impact that could be huge as they age.
They expect to hire about five new employees as a result of the expansion, Greener says.
The companies employ a total of 45 people, triple what they did in 1988, when the couple bought Inland Pharmaceutical and the two franchise operations. Today, they have five pharmacists, counting the Greeners, 14 nurses, three physical therapists, two dietitians, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and 19 technicians and other employees.
Greener declines to disclose the companies revenues, but says business has grown steadily since she and her husband acquired the businesses.
Collectively, the companies deliver medications, sell medical supplies, give flu shots, fill intravenous prescriptions, and, under doctors direction, offer nursing, physical therapy, and other care. About 80 percent of the three businesses customers are of retirement age, she says.
Always working off a care plan with an M.D., we can increase the health level of the client so they can go back to their regular activities, she says. If the companies need to tap into other services, we dont have to go out and find them. We have them right here.
Inland Pharmaceutical is a round-the-clock pharmacy that mainly delivers medicine to retirement facilities. It has contracts with several large communities here, such as Rockwood South, Rockwood at Hawthorne, and Cheney Care Center, Greener says. Some of its business, though, comes from walk-in customers. The Greeners dont operate a conventional store, but sell the pharmaceuticals and other medical suppliesboth retail and wholesaleout of their offices.
Inland Pharmaceuticals pharmacists consult each month with patients to whom the company delivers medications, Greener says. It packages for each patient medications in large bubble cards, which are color-coded. Inside each plastic bubble on the perforated cards are the various medications that patients are to take at particular times each day. The cards are meant to reduce errors and allow patients to live healthier lives because taking medications, and administering them, becomes easy and consistent.
Through Option Home Health Care, the Greeners offer patients servicessuch as physical, speech, and occupational therapy, drawing blood, and dietary planningat individuals homes and at the companies offices. OptionCare is an infusion center that mixes and fills intravenous prescriptions for ambulatory patients in need of pain management, chemotherapy, hydration, or other IV needs. OptionCare delivers the fluids directly to patients who administer the medication at home themselves, or with the help of OptionCare staff members.
Together, the three companies provide an important link between patients and doctors, Greener asserts. Sometimes, the education provided by a nutritionist or a pharmacist is all a patient needs to avoid medical problems, she says.
Because of the way were structured, a resident might say, This medicine is upsetting my stomach to a pharmacist, who could then talk to one of our nutritionists, she says. That way, we can get a larger scope of the patients health.
Often, the staff members of the three companies act as a second set of eyes and ears for the patients doctors, alerting them to concerns that the patients raised during consultations, Greener says.
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