Why and how to enroll 100 patients in your med sync program


Med sync is a game changer, but you need enough patients enrolled for it to make a difference. You will start to see benefits after enrolling 100 patients.

Why 100 enrollees

To realize the benefits of med sync and to truly change the game requires some amount of “scale” or “critical mass.” Here’s why scale matters for each key benefit:

  • Streamlined operations. In retail pharmacies, 10% of patients create roughly 75% of a store’s business.1 Organizing that 10% with med sync can make an enormous difference. Pharmacies can streamline their workflow to fill prescriptions for regular customers taking multiple medications. This minimizes exceptions and reduces calls from patients and prescribers. It improves efficiency and allows prescriptions to be filled proactively in batches instead of reactively one at a time.Having just a handful of patients in med sync won’t create real workflow changes or efficiency. To truly change and streamline operations, and to see meaningful improvements in efficiency, requires having a significant number of patients enrolled.

    For example, now that Shrivers Pharmacy in Ohio has a significant number of patients enrolled in med sync, two mornings each week one pharmacist and three technicians arrive at 5 a.m. and fill hundreds of prescriptions by 8:30 a.m. “The efficiency is insane,” says Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Paisley. But this efficiency wasn’t possible until a critical mass of patients was achieved.

    Speaking at a recent Health Mart® Town Hall, Sandie Kueker, clinical care director for Hesston Pharmacy in Hesston, Kansas, said, “The key operational benefits from med sync kick in around 100 patients.” This is when there is enough volume to begin making a real difference.

  • Improved financials. Enrolling 100 patients in med sync can make a meaningful difference on the bottom line. One study projected that due to increased adherence from med sync, every 100 multiple-medication patients enrolled would generate an additional $90,000 in annual revenue for the pharmacy.2 It is at 100 patients that med sync begins to produce meaningful financial results.Incremental Script Lift with Med Sync
    Improving Adherence
    Patients improve adherence100
    Average number of chronic disease state Rx per patient4.65
    Expected Rx fills for one month for average patients465
    Number of months of refills/year for nonadherent patients7.4
    Number of months of refills/year for adherent patients10.9
    Expected increase in Rx fills per year: adherent vs. nonadherent1,628
    Average retail cost per Rx$56
    Expected revenue increase/year$91,140

    Holdford D, Inocencio T. “Adherence and Persistence Associated with an Appointment-Based Medication Synchronization Model.” JAPhA. 2013; 53:576-583. Link. Accessed March 9, 2015.

  • Enhanced clinical performance. The average patient fills 7.4 out of 12 maintenance prescriptions. Patients in med sync programs fill 11 out of 12 refills, generating an additional 3.6 scripts annually per medication per patient.3 Better adherence not only produces more refills, but it improves a pharmacy’s clinical performance data on key Star Ratings quality measures.To truly move the needle on clinical performance there must be enough patients enrolled in med sync to make a measurable difference. Once you get 100 patients enrolled you can begin to see visible differences in Star Ratings adherence measures.

How to get to 100 enrollees

Tips and best practices for getting to 100 enrollees include:

  • Have a med sync champion. Having a successful med sync program starts with training and engaging the entire team. As with any successful team, there needs to be a leader who is the owner and champion. Duren’s Health Mart in Tennessee initially struggled with med sync because the pharmacy didn’t have the right champion. Now that owner Jerry Duren has the right champion, whom the staff calls a “coach,” med sync has taken off. The champion can be a pharmacist, but doesn’t have to be.
  • Train staff. In addition to having a champion, it is essential that all staff members understand what med sync is, why it is important, and how it benefits patients. Staff need to be trained in how to talk to patients about med sync and cross-trained in different areas of implementing med sync.
  • Set clear goals. It is important to state a clear goal for enrollment in the med sync program, like 500 patients in the first year; and to then break that down into monthly and weekly goals, like enrolling and syncing 10 patients per week.
  • Measure the results. As with any successful program, it is essential to constantly track and communicate the results so that everyone on the team sees the progress being made and keeps enrollment top of mind.
  • Reward success. Recognize staff for meeting goals and celebrate success. At Hesston Pharmacy, Sandie Kueker set a clear goal of 100 patients enrolled in med sync, created a timeline, and promised her staff a pizza party to celebrate after the goal was achieved.
  • Consider adopting technology. Paper-based med sync programs such as those from Simplify My Meds and the APhA Foundation Program can help pharmacies get started. However, many pharmacies are leveraging technology to help them scale. At Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin, Texas, owner Mark Newberry said that without technology it would have been impossible to enroll over 250 patients in med sync within just a few months.

For more information about getting started with med sync and enrolling more patients, visit the Health Mart Medication Synchronization Education Center.


1 Lomenick B. “The Business Case: Formal Adherence Service in the Community Pharmacy.” Pharmacy Times. May 18, 2015. Health Mart Medication Synchronization Playbook. Link
2 Holdford DA, Inocencio TJ. “Adherence and Persistence Associated with an Appointment-Based Medication Synchronization Program.” J Am Pharm Assoc. 2013;53(6):57-83. Health Mart Medication Synchronization Playbook. Link
3 Ibid.