By partnering with a long-term care pharmacy, you’ll get plenty of help reducing that bottom line and finding ways to reduce your costs while still offering the services and medications your residents need. Choosing the right one, however, is critical, as this is more than selecting a vendor – it is selecting a partner that can impact many areas of care.
1. You need a family-owned LTC pharmacy
Your ideal pharmacy isn’t a big corporation that has many areas of business. Choosing a pharmacy that provides targeted services will help reduce shipping times and make it easier for you to connect with your provider when you need medication fast. It is also important to choose a pharmacy that makes communities like yours a priority in their business, and understands your needs as much as their own.
2. Look for an LTC pharmacy that offers consulting services and education.
You probably already have a Clinical Specialist looking over your residents’ medications to make sure that they aren’t going to risk drug interactions or other serious health problems. However, that specialist might not be as informed as a Pharmacist. A great LTC pharmacy will offer consulting services that will help you look at a number of key issues:
Do you have residents who are taking too many medications–for example, residents who are taking stacks of medications in order to minimize the symptoms of another, or residents who are simply over-medicated?
Do you have residents whose medication costs are too high when there are cheaper alternatives? Have you explored less-expensive options for medicating the resident, even if they have a lower percentage successful use?
Is there a medication that is better suited for a particular resident?
How can you reduce medication costs throughout your facility and for each individual resident?
While you never want to deny a resident medication or attention that they need; however, in many cases, there are less-expensive options for offering high-quality care. By working with a pharmacy that provides consulting services, you’ll ensure that you’re not inadvertently spending more than you should on the cost of care for any single resident.
3. You need an LTC pharmacy that offers more than just prescription fulfillment
Yes, you need your pharmacy to fill the prescriptions given to your residents; but a great LTC pharmacy will provide more than that. They’ll create a relationship with you that will help with many of your costs, your concerns, and other issues that you’ll face throughout the lifetime of your facility. Take the time to get to know what LTC pharmacies in your area are offering before you choose one and jump into a relationship. You may be surprised by the benefits you can receive!
4. Choose an LTC pharmacy that simplifies your nurses’ tasks
Nurses are some of the hardest-working individuals in your facility. They’re responsible for taking care of basic resident care tasks, dispensing medications, and many more responsibilities throughout the day. When your LTC pharmacy offers services that will simplify medication delivery tasks for your nurses–prepackaged medications that are offered for each resident according to the time of day when they’re supposed to be taken; easy-open packages that nurses can open and dispense to residents–you’ll free up nurses’ time to take care of other vital tasks throughout your facility. The more time your nurses have available, the better they’re able to focus on resident care and the more value they can provide to your residents.
5. Make sure your LTC pharmacy offers emergency delivery
In many cases, you don’t have time to wait for medications to be delivered “in a couple of days.” When you have a resident who needs a new medication immediately or one who has become suddenly ill and needs to be treated quickly, you don’t want to wait on your pharmacy! Even worse, you don’t want a resident to run out of a medication that they’re supposed to take every day. Instead, choose an LTC pharmacy that offers emergency delivery in the event of these situations. You’ll be able to get medications to your residents faster, which will provide a better quality of care for everyone in your facility. In emergency cases, LTC pharmacies even have networks of partner pharmacies who can deliver emergency medications, fast.
6. Make sure your LTC pharmacy keeps up with the latest technology
Technology continues to make your life easier in a variety of ways. You need to partner with a LTC pharmacy that will offer those same benefits. Talk with potential pharmacy vendors about how they keep up with the latest changes in the field and how they’ll implement those changes to help make your life easier. You need a pharmacy that will keep an eye on all of the latest developments in technology and uses them to make your life easier. For example, Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions employs some of the latest technology in robotic workflows to automate processes and improve accuracy.
7. You need an LTC Pharmacy that focuses on building trusted relationships and great communication
Having an independent, family-owned pharmacy often means that the pharmacists and team invest in developing relationships with their partners and their patients. It’s one of the things that often set pharmacies like Mac’s LTC Pharmacy apart from big box pharmacies. Having someone that is on your side to make sure your health is being taken care of goes a long way in improving not only your physical wellbeing, but also your overall wellness.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS