Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind

Home delivery pharmacy concept of a hand reaching out of a computer holding a box of prescriptions. A plant, coffee mug, keyboard, and mouse are on the desk.

Cane EnAbled | Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind

Contents: 

Editor’s Note

I’m thrilled to introduce you to today’s featured guest, Andy Burstein. Andy is a representative of the Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind and I have to say their services are impressive. So impressive in fact that I’m sold.

Below Andy’s YouTube video is the transcript for those who prefer to read their content. Enjoy! ~Steph

YouTube Video

Transcript

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Hi, everyone, my name is Andy Burstein, I am with Accessible Pharmacy Services for the Blind. We are a home delivery pharmacy specializing in blind and low vision patients. We are the only provider of its kind and we are the largest blind-owned healthcare company in the United States.

Accessible Support

The way we approach medication management, diabetes management, to oversimplify it, we break it into three spheres. The first tier is accessible support. We meet the patient where the patient wants to be met, we don’t force the patient to come to our building, we don’t force the patient to go to our website. But we meet the patient where it’s comfortable for the patient.

Usually, that’s on the telephone, we’ll have a conversation with the patient, we’ll learn about their existing insurance, their health care providers, their doctors, we learn about what medication they’re taking, how they’re managing the medication, what challenges they have with managing a medication or diabetes. What’s their level of comfort with technology? What kind of support group do they have around them? We capture all that information and we review all that information internally with our healthcare team. And get all that back to the patient and have a conversation about if, in fact, we’re the right fit for them. 

Other ways that we can interact with the patient are, we are at the pharmacy of where the pharmacy of record for Be My Eyes. So a patient can actually contact us during the day through the Be My Eyes app in the Specialized Help section. And we can help them do things like identifying a pill, understanding a label, understanding drug interactions, or even training an individual about how to use some type of assistive medical device. 

We also work with email and text messaging. We have a great deal of patients who have dual sensory loss. So it’s all about identifying what’s the best way for us to interact with the patient. And that’s what we do. So we bundle that all under accessible support

Accessible Packaging

The second thing is accessible packaging. We have a collection of 10 different kinds of accessible packaging that can be designed to help a patient physically manage their medication. By the way, everything that we’re talking about–our support, our medication, and I’ll talk about accessible labeling in a second–it’s all free of charge for the patients, we get reimbursed by insurance company for these services.

So, accessible packaging, we have different kinds of disposable presorted disposable pill organizers. So we can send a patient all of their prescription medication, their vitamins, their supplements, in these disposable pill organizers with different sizes and shapes, depending on the types of medication, the quantity of medication, and the amount of times during the day that individual may take medication. And a patient can pick and choose which ones they want to try. 

We also have a collection, we have a machine that can pre bundle on everyone’s medication in pre-sorted disposable packets, very similar to the pill packet that you may experience on Amazon. We have the same machine. And it’s essentially a little three-inch by three-inch little plastic baggie that has everyone’s daily dose or time of the day doses of medication in it. And we ship that in a disposable dispensing box. We have a whole collection of different size and shape bottles and lids depending on people’s mobility and dexterity limitations that make it easier to access and open packaging.

One thing we’re also developing right now that we’re hoping to finalize by the end of this year are individual unit doses of liquid medication. We’ve had a lot of our patients have actually encouraged us to do this, which is being able to support blind parents who want to administer liquid medication safely and effectively to their children. So to be able to come up with packaging specifically for that need. 

Accessible Labeling

The third sphere at our final sphere is accessible labeling. We are able to on all of our packaging, use a label of choice for the patient that can help them identify the contents of the package and understand the interactions and the nuances of the medication. So these include both grade one braille or contracted braille, depending on the person’s braille reading proficiency.

We can print things in large fonts on the medication labels in the event the person has low vision. By the way, we can do this both in Spanish and English. We work very closely with Envision America, we can apply the Script Talk Labels to any of our packaging. 

And finally, we can adhere a combination of QR codes and a combination of all the packaging, labeling options together. All with the goal of figuring out how can we help an individual, reduce the anxiety of taking medication, live more independently, and ultimately live a healthier outcome and live healthier lives. 

Services In The Works

Other things that we’re working on, that we will provide, in addition to human medication, we can package guide dog and pet medication with all the same types of packaging. We provide a full collection of diabetes support ranging from talking glucose meters, we talk, we interact with, and support the continuous glucose monitoring devices, as well as insulin and other solutions as well. 

We run a series of educational programs ranging from breast cancer for blind women, diabetes, support, nutrition, exercise, understanding some of the nuance devices. We provide free open enrollment consulting for people who are getting new insurance programs.

So there’s a lot of things that we do. We ultimately learned from our patients, our employees, 20% of our employees are blind themselves, and groups that we work with, to give us feedback and help us figure out what else could we be doing to make this business model more supportive and more impactful in the blind and low vision community. 

An Invitation

So we invite you all to learn about us and call us. As mentioned, there’s no cost. If at any point in the future, you decide that you want to go back to your old pharmacy, we’ll gladly switch everything back for you, alert your medical team, and alert the new pharmacists if there have been any changes. 

The easiest way to reach us, as we mentioned, is to call us Our phone number is 215-799-9900. That’s 215-799-9900. Our website is also accessible to screen readers. Our website is accessiblepharmacy.com.

Two other ways; if you have an Apple smartphone and you use Siri on the iPhone, you simply have to ask Siri, “Siri, connect us to Accessible Pharmacy.” And Siri will say, “Do you mean Accessible Pharmacy in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania?” That’s us. 

And finally, through the Be My Eyes app in this specialized Help section, you can find us. 

We’re currently licensed in 31 states as well as DC and Puerto Rico. We’re expanding to other states throughout the country and coming soon, hopefully in Canada as well. 

So we’re looking forward to hearing from you. We’d love for you to join us and thank you all for all your time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Connecting With Accessible Pharmacy Services:

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