eebIn December 2007, the small independent phcamray that I worked for was bought by Walgreens. It was an acquisition for them to expand their on-site phcamray holdings since we were owned by a large group of physicians.  Naturally this came with many changes since Walgreens is very technology based and our phcamray was not.  However, they were very thorough in their planning and took several months to determine what would be needed for the acquisition.  They looked at changes to the phcamray layout, technology upgrades, phone systems, and staffing. Initially Walgreens proposed a cutover transition but after protests from our senior pharmacists decided a parallel transition would work best.  They set out to extend the contract with our current software vendor and made arrangements to keep the old phone system & number for six months.  This was a great idea because they realized that much of the data from our old system wouldne28099t transfer seamlessly into their system.  In fact, they ended up writing a computer program to adapt the old to the new.  Also, by keeping the old phone system we were able to wean the nurses off of the e2809cbacklinee2809d mentality they used to bypass the IVR system, and prepare them for the new IVR system that was more interactive & specific for phcamray.  Walgreens also provided personnel support by providing pharmacists & technicians who were familiar with their system to work with us after implementation.  Fortunately, Walgreens had required our pharmacists & technicians to undergo 80 hours of training and clerks to do 40 hours of training, on their system before we went live.  This greatly reduced the anxiety we faced when things were changed over.  Even with this training, we noticed that the 9 minute wait time we normally had for prescriptions turned into a 40 minute wait time on the new Walgreens system.  This did not go over well with our customers, but was unavoidable given the new complications we were all facing. The change-over also had an impact on our physicians and nurses since many were used to talking to a pharmacist directly with little complication, they now had to navigate a lengthy IVR network. Since many of them had familiarity with Walgreens, it was a small adaptation for them.  I believe the patients had a harder time dealing with the transition.  They saw the buyout as a loss for the independent phcamray and feared the pharmacists would no longer be as approachable as they once were.  At first this was true because the pharmacists were leading the team to tackle this new technology.  After the adjustment was made, the pharmacists were more available than ever and the patients were able to reconnect with their trusted provider.A big limitation to transferring to new technology was the people and their resistance to change.  Some were able to adapt faster than others, while many of the older pharmacists & technicians took longer to learn the computer programs.  Also, the customers were fearful that their hometown, close knit phcamray was becoming part of a corporate giant that would no longer really care about their healthcare.  The enablers of the transition were the group that understands the need for upgrading of computers, and that change is necessary to stay viable in a competitive market.  They were the champions of implementing the new technology because they are more comfortable with it and not as fearful.  This group was imperative to the success of the new program.Walgreens did everything right as far as training the employees, remodeling mostly during closed hours and on weekends, and providing staffing to smooth the transition.  They allowed our phcamray to keep the small town image while improving on the resources needed to be better pharmacists.27
 
 Call me wind because I am abselutoly blown away.

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