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Optimize Pharmacy Operations While Facilitating Successful Transitions of Leadership

Explore the CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership Solution

The Challenge

As hospital and health system pharmacy operations continue to evolve, colleges and universities have focused pharmacist training to address clinical skills, patient care and outcomes rather than financial management, operational management and leadership development. As a result, when a hospital or health system has a vacancy in their pharmacy leadership, suitable pharmacy leaders can be difficult to find. The lack of expertise can jeopardize operations and harm a facility’s ability to perform across their full continuum of care. Leaving a key leadership position empty - or promoting from within on an interim basis during an external search - can create operational issues with cultural, clinical and
financial consequences.

Pain Points

The process of locating an available pharmacy leader with the right skill set and experience takes time and presents a number of challenges:

  • It typically requires a national search
  • The process can take from three months to a year
  • The talent pool of qualified pharmacy leaders is often small

Competition is heavy for filling these positions temporarily. Rural hospitals and small facilities often choose to promote a pharmacy high performer from within, even if the individual lacks the managerial and financial expertise necessary to run the pharmacy. Larger hospitals and health systems typically need months to fill the void with an appropriate candidate.

The right interim pharmacy leader creates an opportunity for the hospital to advance their pharmacy clinically, operationally and financially while waiting for their long-term
replacement. When the permanent leader does come on board, they enter a better situation. The pharmacy is often functioning smoothly. The transition to an interim leader has even yielded benefits.


A suitable interim pharmacy leader should be able to hit the ground running with little to no learning curve. In your search, look for someone who has a history of high performance in
an interim role. They should not only possess deep pharmacy knowledge but also be proven and tested in challenging situations related to patient safety, operational efficiency, cultural issues and more.

Skill Set

Interim leaders should be versatile and skilled in operational and strategic leadership, as well as in managerial, administrative and financial areas. Typically, this individual would possess
an MBA, Health Administration degree or has completed a residency in Health Management.


In 2019, CPS interim pharmacists saved over $3M for hospital and health system clients - all while running best-in-class daily pharmacy operations.

Bandwidth Behind the Interim Leader

Look for an interim leader who has a support team behind them that can expand their capabilities, including:

  • Clinicians
  • Operational experts
  • Finance experts
  • Purchasing team to support GPO performance

With a team of experts backing the interim leader, the pharmacy benefits exponentially from access to a broad range of resources.

Assessment and Strategic Planning Capabilities

The interim leader should be able to assess the pharmacy’s current state, draft an action plan and implement that plan to advance the pharmacy clinically, operationally and financially.

Shared Services

CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership strives to position pharmacies for long-term success by
targeting savings through improvements in purchasing, clinical utilization and more. CPS
processes the pharmacy’s data through its clinical analytics tools to generate a strategy of
initiatives and cost reductions. CPS then operationalizes those initiatives to drive savings.
Savings are split between the pharmacy and CPS. At the end of the day, the capture on shared savings for the enterprise far outpaces the cost of the service.

In the first year, CPS identifies 4%-6% in clinical savings on average. In 2019, CPS interim
pharmacists saved over $3,019,000 for hospital and health system clients, all while running a
best-in-class daily pharmacy operation.

CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership has saved over $3M for hospitals & health system clients


With nearly 50 years of comprehensive pharmacy leadership expertise, CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership ensures seamless system performance operationally, clinically and financially by:

  • Driving operational efficiencies
  • Fueling clinical savings through analytics and best practice implementations
  • Improving financial health for the broader hospital and health system
  • Supporting better patient outcomes

Not only can CPS support a smooth transition to a full-time pharmacy leader, CPS can identify and implement improvements across the pharmacy that positively impact patient care, operations, financial health and clinical goals.

About the CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership Solution

CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership provides proven pharmacy expertise through experts that require no learning curve and are able to fill a variety of interim pharmacy positions, including:

  • Health System Director
  • VP of Pharmacy
  • Chief Pharmacy Officer
  • Director of Pharmacy

CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership draws from an expert pool of interim pharmacy leaders with years of training and proven leadership and covers hospitals of all sizes, from rural facilities to large health systems. Nationwide reach allows CPS to rapidly deploy interim leaders who can step into the role.

CPS Interim Pharmacy Leadership typically covers engagements of three months or longer. This allows the enterprise to take the requisite amount of time to conduct a proper search and permanently fill the leadership position or, in the absence of the pharmacy leader, provides stability and continuation of ongoing deliverables.


Let's Work Together

We are eager to provide value to your organization and showcase our excellence through our Interim Pharmacy Leadership solution. If we can be of benefit CPS will reach out.



Posted: Friday, August 28, 2020

Tags: Blog, Success Stories