Meet Your Pharmacy Assistant: Mark Lewandowski
Mark is one of ARTARx’s new Pharmacy Assistants. We asked Mark a few questions about his background, and how Pharmacy Assistants can shape the patient experience by being the first point of contact for members using the pharmacy.
How long have you been a Pharmacy Assistant?
About twelve years. My dad is a pharmacist and a pharmacy owner, and one day he needed someone in a pinch. I ended up stepping in to help, and I’ve been in the pharmacy world ever since.
A lot of my background has been in a pharmacy that catered primarily towards retirees, and I know from experience that retirees tend to know exactly what they want out of their pharmacy. So, it’s important for us at ARTARx to be able to provide the level of service our members expect, to get to know them on a personal level, and understand what their needs are. That’s exactly the kind of experience we’re focused on crafting here.
What does a Pharmacy Assistant do?
Everything that goes on behind the scenes. We’re typing up paperwork, we’re answering the phones, we’re greeting patients as they come in the door. Ninety per cent of the calls a pharmacy gets don’t need the direct attention of a pharmacist, and we can handle most questions, freeing up pharmacists’ time to handle direct patient care. We also coordinate information between patients and pharmacists, catching red flags that might require more attention, and ensuring our pharmacists have the information they need to begin helping the patient. At ARTARx specifically, we’ll also be handling most of the mailing, getting prescriptions out to members all over Alberta.
What drew you to apply to work at ARTARx?
I was aware of large-scale, mail-order pharmacies before, but after hearing about the ARTARx model for the first time, I knew that it was unique. Most large-scale operations are about pushing specialty medication and maximizing sales. With ARTARx though, the specialization is the patients, and catering the experience toward retired professionals. We’re set up with that demographic in mind, both in terms of our equipment and our staff, and I think people will take notice of that specialization as they use our services.
How would an ARTA member transfer their prescriptions to ARTARx?
It’s very effortless. It can be done online through the ARTARx website, or you can contact your existing pharmacy, say you would like to transfer your prescriptions, and give them our phone number. Pharmacies can take it from there. We’ll get in touch with you after the transfer has been made, confirm your details and any preferences you might have, and that’s it. There’s really nothing to it.
We understand your relationship with your existing pharmacy providers is trust-based, and that you’ve built that trust over time. We’re dedicated to working collaboratively with those providers to ensure any transfers are handled professionally, and with your unique needs in mind. ARTARx is set up to offer the same level of service and care as some of the best community pharmacies I’ve worked in, and I think members are genuinely going to have a good experience here.