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Stephens Pharmacy opens telepharmacy location at OCHC-Urbana clinic

Residents in rural Dallas County will have greater access to medicine starting March 16 thanks to a new Stephens Pharmacy telepharmacy location at Ozarks Community Health Center’s new Urbana clinic.

The telepharmacy is located at 406 S. Dallas St., Urbana and is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Stephens Pharmacy, owned and operated by Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation in Bolivar, uses a HIPAA-compliant telepharmacy software platform enabling virtual prescription verification and live video counseling with patients.

“Certified pharmacy technicians at the Urbana location work with a supervising pharmacist at Stephens Pharmacy to review and safely approve prescriptions,” says Mariah Hollabaugh, system pharmacy director for Citizens Memorial Hospital/CMH Foundation. “Patients and pharmacists can also connect through a secure video for a live patient-counseling session.”

Seth Alley, pharmacist in charge at Stephens Pharmacy, is the supervising pharmacist and Rebekah Spradling is the on-site certified pharmacy technician for the new telepharmacy location in Urbana.

According to Hollabaugh, the concept of remote pharmacy services is not new; however, the Missouri State Board of Pharmacy rules were not updated until September 2020 and previously pharmacists were required to physically be on-site to dispense medications.

“Studies show that a lack of convenient access to a pharmacy and pharmacist in rural areas can be a significant barrier for patients and can contribute to negative health outcomes,” says Michael Calhoun, CEO/executive director of Citizens Memorial Hospital/Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation.

“Ozarks Community Health Center has been a wonderful medical partner with CMH over the years for many services and programs in our eight-county service area. We have similar missions caring for residents in our rural communities and by providing pharmacy services at their new Urbana clinic it will lead to better access and ultimately better patient outcomes,” says Calhoun.

“We have been serving the Urbana community since fall 2015 and have enjoyed getting to know our patients over the years,” says Scott Crouch, CEO of OCHC. “One of the barriers to care in Urbana has been the lack of pharmacy services. There wasn’t a good solution until telepharmacy regulations changed. Once that happened, we looked for a pharmacy that would be able to offer telepharmacy services in our new clinic location and CMH was identified as a great partner.”

CMH and OCHC have an integrated electronic medical record through MEDITECH Expanse.

“Through our shared EMR it will help make the process of getting prescriptions filled seamless,” says Crouch. “I’m so excited for this new clinic and our partnership with CMH. Patients will now be able to see a provider and pick up their medications before they leave.”

OCHC-Urbana Medical and Behavioral Health Center is holding a grand opening celebration Friday, April 1, noon-1 p.m.

About Stephens Pharmacy

Stephens Pharmacy has been in business in Bolivar for more than 47 years. The locally owned pharmacy was purchased by Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation in 2019 and offers prescription medication services, over-the-counter medications, vaccinations, diabetic patient supplies, home delivery services, drive-thru, and Medicine on Time and RxLocal mobile medication management programs.

For more information about Stephens Pharmacy telepharmacy services in Urbana, call 417-993-0332.

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