Written By Jakub Svec

November 2020

CASE STUDY — OTHELLO STATION PHARMACY

Amanuel Sisay, center, picks up his prescription at the Othello Station Pharmacy in Rainier Valley on March 10. Sisay says he enjoys being able to come to a neighborhood pharmacy and interact with staff members who are “very cooperative.” (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Othello Station Pharmacy, Seattle, WA

From the time Covid Vaccinations first became available, the Othello Station Pharmacy saw a common sight every day: a line wrapped around the corner with people holding clipboards and filling out paperwork by hand. And at the end of the long day of immunizations, the work wasn’t over. All of the paperwork needed to be transcribed and submitted to their state’s IIS within a 24-hour regulatory timeframe.

For Sawda Mohamed and Fardous Guled, the mention of days at Othello Station before Signetic brings back a flood of memories. “We had to do everything one by one. Each and every person would have a clipboard to fill out longhand, they’d hand us the paperwork, then we’d give them a shot. Then at the end of the business day, we’d go to WAIIS and have to enter each one at a time,” said Sawda, a pharmacy staff member at Othello Station. “Then we would have people coming back the next day and they’d be like ‘Hey, why’s my shot not in WAIIS yet!?’ We had a tremendous backlog.” Sawda added, “But with Signetic, we stopped having that problem.”

The benefits of using Signetic’s system of software were instantly apparent:

  • Signetic’s Manager Portal allowed the team at Othello Station Pharmacy to begin overseeing their entire operation so they could start planning outreach events weeks and even months in advance
  • Signetic’s Patient Appointment Website (customized to their pharmacy and their events) made it possible for patients to pre-register using a QR code
  • Signetic’s Staff App allowed their on-site staff to register, check-in, and fulfill patients when they arrived on site
  • Using a direct connection to their IIS system, Signetic’s Manager Portal automatically submitted immunization records on a frequent cadence, and
  • by using Signetic’s Billing Management System, managers could start keeping an eye on their income without becoming overwhelmed by the convoluted system of clearinghouses and payers

The activity naturally quieted down after the two waves of the pandemic relief effort passed by. But for the team at Othello Station, there was no going back to their old way of handling paperwork. “With Signetic, it's been a huge relief to have no more paperwork. With paperwork, we sometimes can't read handwriting, or there’s missing information, and the paperwork gets lost in a bunch of other paperwork… less paperwork is pretty exciting for us over here,” said Sawda, laughing.  

With Signetic,  the Othello Station Pharmacy has room to think about growing other efforts. “We are exploring the options of offering shingles, influenza, and other adult routine vaccinations, and with the current Signetic system, it’s much easier to implement and protect our communities,” says Ahmed Ali, Othello Station Pharmacy’s founding owner.

Signetic’s system of software was put to the test during the Covid Pandemic relief effort when it was used by the City of Seattle to be the first city to reach a 70% vaccination rate. Now that vaccinations have become a routine appointment, Signetic is committed to continuing to grow alongside our independent pharmacy partners across the United States. Signetic is focused on pharmacies with new levels of efficiency in operations, accuracy in reporting, and a wider range of services and revenue streams.

If Covid has taught us anything, it is that pharmacies like Ahmed Ali’s Othello Station Pharmacy are desperately needed to keep our bodies, our communities, and our economies healthy, strong, and resilient.

Reach out to us today to discover how we can help your pharmacy transform its operations.

Direct Quotes:

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“Since we partnered with Signetic, it's been nice being able to tally our appointments and see real numbers right away. We can now make predictions for volume to allocate staff effectively. And when we work with our outreach partners (such as King County and local community colleges…), we suggest they start using pre-registration as well. All we have to do is send them a link and they share it through their community. Obviously, we still take walk-ins (we don’t want to limit services/access), but it helps to know what we should be expecting. In some cases, I know I have 45 pre-registrations. I’m expecting a minimum of 45 (plus or minus, you know), and I can expect 10-20 walk-ins. Then on some other days, we go out and we have 4 people come through in two hours, and that's fine too because we knew ahead of time to expect it.”

  • Fardous Guled, Nurse Consultant, Othello Station Pharmacy

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“For the pharmacy side of our operation, MVS helps us more with our workflow than anything else. It's more efficient using MVS. We just say, “Hey, come on in, scan this QR code,” and they fill it out. We no longer have a long line around the block. It's just more efficient this way.”

  • Sawda Mohamed, Pharmacy staff member, Othello Station Pharmacy

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“With Signetic, it's been a huge relief to have no more paperwork. With paperwork, we can't read handwriting, or there’s missing information, and the paperwork gets lost in a bunch of other paperwork. During the pandemic, we would have people coming back the next day and they’d be like “Hey, why’s my shot not in WAIIS yet?” We had a tremendous backlog. But with Signetic, we stopped having that problem.

Less paperwork is pretty exciting to us over here”.

  • Sawda Mohamed, Pharmacy staff member, Othello Station Pharmacy

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“During the pandemic and before Signetic, if you ever came to the pharmacy, a line would go around the block. We had to do everything one-by-one. Each and every person would have a clipboard to fill out longhand, they’d hand us the paperwork, then we’d give them a shot. Then at the end of the business day, we’d go to WAIIS and have to enter each one at a time.

“Now, it's like everything takes half the time. Some people that come in are already registered through our website link. Some register using the QR code at the pharmacy. We give them their shot and they are out the door, and their data is accurate.”

  • Sawda Mohamed, Pharmacy staff member, Othello Station Pharmacy

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“Othello Station Pharmacy is exploring the options of offering shingles, influenza, and other adult routine vaccinations, and with the current Signetic system, it’s much easier to implement and protect our communities.”

  • Ahmed Ali, Founding Owner, Othello Station Pharmacy