August 31, 2022

Driving Quality, Innovation and Service

In the pharmacy world, most leaders follow a direct path from pharmacy school into the business. The exception is Pat Rutherford, who gained expertise in a completely different area, leveraging it to deliver exceptional service to HealthDyne clients and their patients. Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma principles, and operations and materials management are just a few of Pat’s areas of expertise developed in the 1990s during his role in auto manufacturing.

“Japanese automakers had a different way of doing business,” Pat explains. “They understood the need for continuous improvement.” Jetting to international locations such as Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Milan and elsewhere throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Pat absorbed and shared these new, highly effective approaches. “I introduced new manufacturing disciplines and concepts into facilities,” he says, “resulting in improved quality metrics and delivery performance while reducing inventory levels and improving cash flow. Later, a lot of PBMs were looking at that expertise where it was not originally utilized.”

Today, Pat leads the pharmacy team to continuous improvement. He has transformed our pharmacies – through our operating partner, WellDyne – into technologically advanced facilities with the latest automation for speed and accuracy, but always with an eye toward the people who make it happen. Along the way, he has developed pharmacy expertise that embraces business innovation, along with a caring attitude toward the people who rely on medications. Once, when a critical medication was needed at a Tampa clinic, a team member drove 2-hours roundtrip to ensure it got there for a critically ill patient. His team has similar stories of above-and-beyond solutions that embrace their unique and caring commitment.

“We are always looking at ways to drive quality through innovative processes, to better serve,” he explains. “We ensure that the people on our team have the skill sets, tools and communication to deliver and understand their critical role in servicing our clients and their patients.”

After years of globe-trotting, Pat admits that today he is most excited about leveraging his knowledge in the pharmacy space. “My team is incredible,” he says. “We look at how to raise the bar to the next level to be solutions, not followers.”