Monona Pharmacy adjusting to change as NuCara telepharmacy

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Pharmacist in charge Hannah Lauer (left) and pharmacy technicians Patty Burkle and Deb Evanson pose next to the pharmacy’s tablet, which allows customers to speak directly to a pharmacist at any time. (Photo by Peyton Meisner)

By Peyton Meisner, North Iowa Times

On June 3, customers of the Monona Pharmacy noticed a change to the business. The pharmacy changed ownership and transformed into a telepharmacy.

Now owned by NuCara, the change is designed to make life easier for customers. “It is much more convenient for the customers because now they can come in anytime during our hours to pick up prescriptions, whereas, before, they could only come in the afternoon to do so,” said pharmacy technician Deb Evanson.

In recent times, it has become increasingly difficult for small-town pharmacies, but one way pharmacies are combating the problem is by switching to a telepharmacy system. “A telepharmacy helps customers stay local instead of having to drive farther away,” said pharmacist in charge Hannah Lauer.

Evanson said the changes took some time to get used to, but have started to become normal. “In the beginning stage,s it was tough at times, but things are starting to become more familiar. Most telepharmacies are started from the ground up. Having a well-established pharmacy turn into a telepharmacy is a unique situation,” she said.

The change to a telepharmacy brings along updates that embrace modern technology. “We can run prescriptions off our software, send it to a pharmacist to look at and they can send it back to us,” Lauer said.

Lauer said most prescriptions are looked at in West Union, but can also be looked at in Brooklyn and Montezuma if needed.

Another change allows customers to talk directly to a pharmacist through a tablet for any questions or concerns. “This was another big change for some of our customers, but it is very efficient and has worked very well for us,” Evanson said.

The new change has allowed the pharmacy to expand its hours. They are now open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

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