One-Year Reflection: Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead
By Jim Love, President, Omnicare
The past year has been full of unforeseen challenges and heartbreak, but it has also been a year of immense learning and growth. Omnicare, a CVS Health company, has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic helping to ensure our customers and partners are well-equipped to provide the best care for residents and a safe working environment for their staff. I’m especially grateful to work alongside such ambitious and dedicated individuals since joining as President of Omnicare last April.
Long-term care facilities have been devastated by the pandemic. Long days, emotional exhaustion, and adapting to the ever-changing nature of pandemic relief has left our customers needing extra support, which is where Omnicare has shown its true colors. Swiftly taking charge with access to COVID-19 testing and rolling out vaccination clinics at the end of December, our whole team at Omnicare, along with our partners throughout CVS Health and CVS Pharmacy, have stepped up to the challenge of tackling this virus and protecting both our frontline workers and most vulnerable population.
Speaking about Omnicare specifically, we have an incredibly strong team who has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide the industry’s best service despite the countless obstacles and challenges that were presented. These challenges forced us to shift a number of our internal systems, such as combining account management with operations in order to service our clients better, and adjusting to a remote-based working environment where we’ve ultimately been able to connect with our customers and establish more efficient partnerships. Omnicare’s priority has, and will continue to be, customer success and growth and we’ll strive to achieve this by providing the industry’s highest standards of clinical expertise, operational services, and customer support. Even before the pandemic, we were engaged in an important exercise: gathering feedback from clients past and present, listening carefully to their questions or concerns with operational efficiencies, and strategically rethinking how we could leverage our unique position as the industry’s largest LTC pharmacy services provider, as well as the resources we have as part of the broader CVS Health family of companies. We focused on improvement and upon my assuming the leadership role at Omnicare, achieved on-time delivery rates and customer satisfaction scores that are not only the best we’ve claimed in years – we believe they are the best in the industry.
Providing our customers world-class service is more important than ever, and with the COVID-19 vaccination clinics now behind us, Omnicare is focused on providing access to COVID-19 vaccines through two distinct offerings. These offerings are aimed at the unique needs of long-term care residents and staff and will provide ease and flexibility for our customers, while ensuring Omnicare’s role as a key partner in COVID-19 relief. Our first offering includes a partnership with CVS Pharmacy allowing ambulatory residents and staff members from Omnicare-supported facilities access to in-store vaccinations through a concierge service. As another option, we have also been developing our vaccine distribution model that will allow our partnering LTC customers to administer vaccine directly to their residents and staff, while we help make the process more efficient. Both offerings have been designed with our customers in mind to provide them with accessible resources.
While the past year wasn’t something I anticipated when I started my new role as President in April, it has been full of valuable, life-long lessons that I will reflect on for years to come. I’ve learned the importance and value of customer communication, that company agility is both a strength and an asset, and that when a company leads with care for its customers and colleagues, success will surely follow.
Most importantly, I’ve learned the value of dedicated teamwork. Our team at Omnicare took immediate steps to show our customers that we are much more than just a pharmacy provider. The start of vaccination clinics was a whirlwind but our team made every effort to ensure that all of our partnering facilities were ready to host these clinics, while so many of our CVS Pharmacy colleagues stepped up to the plate to work longer hours so we could successfully inoculate millions of residents and staff. We are aware that there still lie challenges ahead and the hard work is not over yet. There will be a need for improved infection control programs, highly functional emergency preparedness plans and stronger communications with pharmacy providers as a resource for the latest health information - just to name a few. We know that regaining public trust in these facilities continues to be a top priority. We must help facilities stay consistent, look for opportunities to upgrade service levels, and focus on resident wellness and behavioral health. Omnicare is committed to providing best-in-class, quality pharmacy services that free up staff from administrative duties and allow them to focus on what they do best: provide care to residents.
The hard work that our entire organization has put forth and continues to do each day is remarkable and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to lead this company through such a transformational year. I’m looking forward to using our recent learnings and experiences to meet and exceed our customers LTC pharmacy needs, while continuing to be a trusted partner in care.