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  1. The most important factor in building a successful pharmaceutical care practice is the preparedness of the practitioner.

  2. Understanding the service you provide and articulating that service to patients and other practitioners is essential.

  3. Find a supportive environment in which to practice.

  4. Do not expect the practice site to change for you—teach them how to accommodate your new practice.

  5. Recruit new patients through referrals, other patients, and collaborative practice agreements.

  6. A network of qualified pharmaceutical care practitioners could be your most important asset.

  7. Be realistic in your expectations. Commit 2 years to building your practice.

  8. Know how to charge for your service using on the resource-based relative value scale.

  9. The best marketing plan is to provide high-quality patient care.

  10. Learn to write a business plan—your practice depends upon it.




This chapter focuses on issues associated with establishing a practice. This chapter is not intended to provide you with the scope and detail you will need to become a good manager; that knowledge and experience should be gained from schools of management and experienced management personnel.


Pharmaceutical care is still new enough that there are relatively few practices that have been established long enough from which to learn. Therefore, it is necessary to learn from other patient care practitioners who have built successful practices, namely, nurse practitioners, physicians, dentists, and veterinarians. These practitioners have been building practices that are well managed and successful from both the professional and financial perspectives for many years. A number of resources are available from these practice areas.15


The key to a successful practice is to add new patients continually so the practice can become financially viable, and survive over the long term. Providing care to more than one patient, on a repeat basis, requires an efficient and effective organization. To accomplish this, a practice management system that can facilitate the work—in this case, provide pharmaceutical care, must be developed.


Just as it is necessary to have an orderly, systematic approach to patient care, which is described as the patient care process in Chapters 6, 7, and 8, it is also necessary to have an orderly, systematic approach to managing a practice when providing pharmaceutical care. This requires a practice management or support system that is consistent with one's practice.

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Key Clinical Concepts

A practice management system includes all the support required to provide a service to patients in a proficient and productive manner.


Most simply stated, the practice management system includes


  1. a clear understanding of the mission of the practice (a clear description of the service provided); this mission defines the standards and expectations for the service.

  2. all the resources required to deliver the service (it includes physical, financial, and human resources; it includes documentation and reporting aspects, and appointment processes, among others).

  3. the means by which the ...

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