When it comes to working remotely as a pharmacist, believe it or not, there are many options for pharmacists these days…
Yes, being an Epic Willow Pharmacist is one of them but thankfully, if you haven’t been able to land an Epic gig yet, you still have some other avenues available for you to pursue.
Quick Update On Me
It’s been quite a while since my last job up date and that’s primarily because I reached a cruising altitude in my job as an Epic Willow pharmacist.
It happens… When the excitement and challenges of the Epic Willow certification and training process are behind you… And all the Go-Lives are done and gone… The deadlines are met and everyone is coasting along… IT kind of fades into the background and folks only remember you exist when something goes wrong.
But that’s NOT a bad thing!
It means you’re doing a great job! However, if you’re anything like me, you start to get that itch again… The itch for something new, the itch for the next challenge. So what’s next…?
Alternative Options For Epic Willow Pharmacists
Your standard work options are:
- Be part of the implementation team – these are the folks who come in at the ground level and do the hard and complicated work of building out the Epic system for the pharmacies from the ground up.
- Be part of the maintenance team – in this phase, you’re keeping things running smoothly. Epic is constantly improving and adding updates to their software and in this role you’re in charge of getting all these enhancements in place and making sure end-users don’t have any workflow interruptions.
- Keeping it moving – if you’re well-versed in both of these phases of the Epic process then you can opt to take on project-based work rather than staying as an employee of one organization… Your Epic Willow certification is good anywhere!
- Note that this means you might have to do some (a little or a lot) of traveling. The good thing is that nowadays, many of these project-based Epic opportunities are much better about allowing you to do more remote work and travel less so that means less time away from family if that’s a major concern for you.
Aaaand… Back To Me…
So I’m in the maintenance and updating phase at work now… And that’s all well and good. I don’t want to travel for work… Also, all well and good.
I’ve applied to and interviewed for some project-based Epic Willow gigs to do on the side, ones that allow remote work so I don’t have to walk away from my full-time job or travel a lot, if at all.
I signed up with a couple of agencies that place Epic consultants around the country and got about 4 openings in all that I agreed to interview for.
Side note: you really have to be discerning and know what you want because there are many opportunities out there but not all are right for everyone. That’s a personal decision each person has to make… What does or doesn’t work for me, might or might not work for you.
I have to say that the pay for consultants is crazy fantastic, but don’t be blinded by the dollar signs in your decision-making process.
I finally decided on one that was perfectly suited for me… It would be 100% remote work after an initial 2-week onsite orientation to meet the team and discuss the project face-to-face. It was in another state from mine so it’s great that they didn’t require me to be onsite after our initial meeting and orientation.
I also didn’t have to be onsite because the gig was really a cleanup project… Cleaning up a mess that was the result of a not-so-perfect original Epic Willow implementation. Fortunately, the Epic work I did at my organization was a good implementation so it worked out that I would be able to come in and help this particular organization clean up theirs.
But here’s where the problem lay…
The pharmacy IT team at this organization was super difficult to work with. Their expectations were high, but that wasn’t even an issue… I can handle high expectations. Their demands were pretty close to impossible, and THAT was the real problem. Once on the inside, I could see exactly why their original implementation went amok.
This team would not let the people who were trained to do the work actually do the work. Without going into the deep dark depths of the intrinsic organizational issues that existed, all I’ll say is, after having worked with a functional Epic IT team and having happy satisfied end-users, even wild horses could not drag me away from that dysfunctional situation fast enough.
Yes, even though I was earning $XXX.XX/hour.
So What Now…?
I’m now dabbling in PBM and other remote/tele-pharmacist opportunities.
Surprisingly… These have not been that hard to get into!
I’m currently doing these remotely… Yes, I’m now working these home-based pharmacist jobs!
The best thing is that they offer both full-time and part-time options as well as the ability to work morning, afternoon, or night hours, making it easy to work around my hours at my full-time job.
They also give you all the equipment you’ll need… Shipped directly to your door! They have to actually, because of HIPAA and stuff, the equipment needs to be specially configured to handle PHI.
And after training, you can be working from home! I should also add that the training can all be done remotely as well.
There was no magic to how I got these jobs, just like with my Epic position, I saw the postings on Indeed.com, applied and went through the interview process.
I’ll start chronicling “life as a tele-pharmacist/home-based pharmacist” just like I did for my Epic Willow pharmacist journey so you can follow along too…
And as always, please feel free to ask me questions here or leave your comments below.