Growing your specialty pharmacy takes more than just luck — it takes a concerted effort to focus on providing quality services to both patients and partners. In recent years, earning accreditation through third-party organizations — including the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC), and the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA) — has become a necessity for securing payer or limited distribution pharmacy contracts.
While aligning with the accreditor’s standards to achieve initial approval is vital, it’s also just as critical to ensure that your specialty pharmacy can prove maintained compliance when it’s time for reaccreditation.
In this blog, we’ll highlight 5 key ways that your pharmacy can ensure your specialty pharmacy can keep the accreditations you worked so hard to earn.
- Be sure to document your compliance early, often, and consistently.
The old adage, “if you didn’t document, it didn’t happen,” couldn’t be more accurate for accredited pharmacies. That means you maintain appropriate records of how activities are completed, your documentation solidifies the processes established in your standard operating procedures (SOP), and you can always clearly demonstrate your specialty pharmacy’s compliance.
- Stay ahead by creating an action-oriented timeline for renewal.
After a deadline has passed, unfortunately, you can’t turn back the clock to recreate what has been missed. To stay prepared and avoid potential corrective action plans, your organization should develop a framework to ensure the following: timeliness with license verification and renewal, SOP review and updating, and new hire onboarding.
- Make accreditation standards part of your daily work.
Accreditation isn’t a one-day, short-term obligation. Rather, maintaining your accreditation requires consistent practice of daily quality measures that are in place well after the desktop review or the on-site survey takes place. By integrating the standards into your day-to-day operations (instead of viewing requirements as a burden) and educating pharmacy staff about the importance and intent of the standards, it helps to not only improve patient care, but also empowers compliance by treating standards as a part of normal activities.
- Avoid complacency and keep striving to become even better.
Practice truly does make perfect, and the more that you can audit your processes regularly before your reaccreditation period, you can both ensure that expectations are being followed, and allow for time to establish a corrective plan to address any deficiencies. Your processes are in place for several reasons: to ensure standardized operations, to provide frequent insight into what’s truly going on in your staff’s day-to-day work, and to discover opportunities for education and continuous improvement.
- Actively invest in your pharmacy’s long-term accreditation.
Maintaining accreditation is often viewed as a burden, especially if established methods to support the requirements aren’t put in place at the outset. Investing in your pharmacy ensures that reaccreditation isn’t a fire drill, and this investment is just as important as any other expenditure. Your willingness to spend time on, devote resources to, and focus on accreditation right now ensures that your organization’s health is intact not only on the day the surveyor leaves but also when they come through the door again.