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Profile of a Pharmacy Innovator: Chris Meyer

Dr. Chris Meyer has been a pharmacist in the Medicap located in Austin, Minnesota for 11 years. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in biology from the University of Nebraska- Kearney. From there, Dr. Meyer attended the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities where he received his doctorate of pharmacy degree in 2001. Though his initial dream was to pursue medical school, Dr. Meyer had a change in heart when he discovered the patient interaction and care given on the pharmacy level.

At Medicap, Chris has used his role as pharmacist to develop niches beyond the typical retail setting by administering atypical vaccinations and services.

What is Chris Meyer’s background in pharmacy and how did it lead him to pursue a career outside of the typical community tasks?

Dr. Meyer originally intended to pursue clinical pharmacy so when he graduated from the University of Minnesota, his heart was inclined towards an opening in Mayo Clinic as an outpatient care pharmacist. What he soon came to realize was that the retail setting was more fit because of his desire to build lasting relationships with the patients. When he started working at the only Medicap in Minnesota, Dr. Meyer knew he wanted to use his degree to initiate changes in the small town pharmacy  to differentiate it from other retails.  Through the collaboration of a nearby practice and physician, Dr. Meyer took the initiative to provide strep throat and influenza testing’s.

According to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 151, the collaborative practice agreement, which is written and signed between the pharmacist and practitioner, allows them to engage in collaborative practices. Under protocol, this allows the pharmacist to perform specific patient care functions that can reduce fragmentation of care, lower health care costs, and even improve health outcomes. The accountability between pharmacist and doctor is often handled over email and phone calls when necessary.

What was the process of doing these strep throat and influenza testing’s?

Chris Meyer is one out of three pharmacist’s who started the development of strep throat testing in the state of Minnesota. However, since the inclination towards this point of care service has grown, it has opened up to pharmacies that desire to perform it.

The first step of this practice is documenting the patients past medical history, allergy information, and anything that may aid him in making a diagnosis. The benefit of this process is that any patient can come in when Dr. Meyer is scheduled to work to see if they test positive. If this is the case, Dr. Meyer has the ability to provide the antibiotic right away. The test is typically less than 15 minutes and the results come out quickly.

If a patient were presented with symptoms that met all the criteria for strep, but on the analyzer came out negative, Dr. Meyer would have the authority to decide if the antibiotic was necessary. To ensure the safety and adherence of the patient, Dr. Meyer spent part of his time following up. This would include if the therapy regime is working and if the infection is clearing up.

This past year, the Medicap in Austin, Minnesota carried out a promotion that presented donations for every flu shot given.  These donations went to area schools of the patient’s choice to help students get educated on the uprising problems of our generation such as opioid addiction. Medicap generated 1000 dollars of funds to the Austin School district with the help of this innovative decision.

What is Chris Meyer’s professional goal?

As a healthcare professional, Dr. Meyer has a desire to continue learning and using his degree to help the community around him. He believes that a pharmacy degree allows one to do much more than counseling and administering prescriptions. There are so many other testing’s that Dr. Meyer wants to implement into his practice but a professional obstacle is protocol and fluidity. To get things up and running takes a lot more than will power, but Dr. Meyer has made it a priority to remember the desired outcomes of these testing’s and promoting patient care. In the future, Dr. Meyer plans on implementing more screenings for cholesterol and osteoporosis in the Medicap he works at.