Address: 110 W. Main St., Zearing
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9-5 p.m.
Owner: NuCara Pharmacy. Corporate office in Conrad.
Staff: Zearing: Alissa Young, certified pharmacy technician.
Nevada: Managing pharmacy, Whitney Slinker, pharmacist.
The Business: NuCara opened its Zearing Telepharmacy in March. It was only the second of its kind to open in Iowa. A telepharmacy allows patients in rural areas to receive all the services of a traditional retail pharmacy by utilizing a pharmacist at a remote site. Specifically, the main difference between a telepharmacy and traditional pharmacy is there is no pharmacist on-site.
NuCara began as a small retail pharmacy over 20 years ago and has grown substantially. Now with more than 20 locations in five states, including two in Marshalltown, NuCara continually strives to be one of the leading health care providers in our service areas. With a high priority on customer care, one-on-one patient counseling and medication management, NuCara prides itself on delivering quality health care to patients. In addition to retail pharmacy, NuCara also offers specialty services such as respiratory therapy, home medical equipment, medication compliance packaging and post-breast surgery products.
Unique Features: The Zearing Telepharmacy uses modern audio and visual technology enabling a pharmacist to provide care and check prescriptions remotely from the Nevada NuCara location. As a certified pharmacy technician and the only on-site employee, Young is responsible for entering and filling each prescription. Using a program called Telepharm, she takes high-resolution photos of each aspect of the prescription: the hard copy, label and medication. The prescription is submitted to the pharmacist in Nevada where it is approved or rejected. Each patient has the opportunity to be counseled on their medication face-to-face with the pharmacist, using a live video chat.
NuCara Pharmacy has been working closely with the town of Zearing, Story Medical Clinic in Zearing, and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to make this pilot project a long-term success. The telepharmacy recently moved into its permanent location, a newly renovated building on Main Street. We now offer a variety of over-the-counter medications, a gift section, and limited respiratory therapy and home medical equipment supplies.
Why Central Iowa? Young is a life-long Iowa resident, and loves its people, the scenery and pace. Iowans are extremely nice, and that makes the patient-interaction aspect of the job enjoyable. One issue facing many small towns in Iowa recently is that there are more people and businesses moving out, than in. That is why NuCara is so excited about the Zearing Telepharmacy. We feel our telepharmacy could be the catalyst for revitalization in Zearing, impacting its image and future. Zearing residents have been extremely supportive of the project and NuCara looks forward to providing them with the very best of care for many years to come.