February 4th, 2014
Why it is a good thing to never hear about your Long Term Care Pharmacy
Ideally, your nursing staff should never complain to you about your Long Term Care pharmacy provider. As a nursing administrator or faculty director, the provider should be an invisible service that gets the right medication to the right nurses at the right time.
The people who work in Long Term Care facilities have enough to worry about. The main goal is to make sure patients and residents have the best care possible. Medicine administration alone is complicated enough without all the paperwork and hassle of dealing with pharmacy problems. Medication errors and Orders Not Received can not only frustrate staff, it can put patient’s or residents’ lives at risk.
However, modern medical technology is making it easier than ever to keep track of medications. There is technology on the market that will bundle a patient’s daily medications into a single package. Inside that package will be labeled smaller packages for each round of medication. With many residents needing multiple types of medication with different dosing schedules, this makes it much easier for nurses to ensure that all the medication is taken at the proper time.
Your staff shouldn’t be coming to you and complaining about the pharmacy. If you’re not hearing anything about your vendor from your staff, this is a good thing. Nurses should be able to get their medication with the minimum amount of hassle. Ask yourself if your medication procedures are as efficient and fool proof as they can be. Is there room for improvement?
Here are some things to look for that can make your pharmacy interactions run smoother if you’re considering a switch:
- Do they use barcodes on their labels? What is their process from when they receive the order to
- getting the medicine to a nurse?
- How quickly can they pull up a record if there’s a medication question for a patient or resident?
- Is there an automated pill cabinet or multi-package dispensing system that the pharmacy can install at the hospital or Long Term Care setting ?
- What are your most common staff complaints about your pharmacy? Does the new provider address those complaints?
- Can the potential new provider train staff quickly in using the new system?
- Have they dealt with regulators in the past? Will they go to bat for their facilities?
Another thing that long-term carefacilities such as nursing homes, hospices, and DD facilities have to contend with is medical regulation. The worry of an inspection uncovering a flaw in their patient care processes is a big one, and medication errors are a big red flag to the surveyors. Using automated medication dispensing systems, such as AcuDose, as well as hiring a long-term carepharmacy that uses barcode labeling and scanning can go a long way in reducing headaches.