Long Term Care Pharmacies, Where Relationships Matter

stacks of brightly colored pill packs

Before urgent-care centers, emergency rooms and specialty medicine became the standard of care, many people sought the advice of their local pharmacist for medical conditions—often in addition to seeing their doctor. Today, as the U.S. population ages and people need treatments that last longer and are more complicated, the pharmacy again plays a critical role in dispensing prescribed medications and treatments, as well as tracking patients’ progress.

Blue Ridge Pharmacy is an independent, owner-operated company in Asheville and Raleigh. As a long-term care pharmacy, we provide deep and focused expertise to residents in assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee. Long-term care pharmacies are also beneficial for:

  • Mental institutions
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Hospice care
  • Foster care
  • Correctional institutions
  • Pain management facilities
  • Crisis care (including substance recovery)
  • Family care homes
  • Adult day care
  • Ambulatory and urgent care facilities
  • Factories and industrial facilities

 

Focusing on Patient Relationships Improves Health

Long-term care pharmacists monitor patient conditions and coordinate the dispensing of medication and prescribed treatment, putting doctors’ orders into practice. Rather than working with the general public, Blue Ridge concentrates exclusively on the facilities where patients live. That allows our pharmacists to cultivate detailed knowledge of patients and their conditions from the moment they’re treated by a physician, or released by a hospital or surgical center. Patients benefit because there is no gap in care.

“When hospitals discharge patients, they need medications waiting when those patients arrive at a facility to keep the drug regimen intact, without lapse in effectiveness,” says Ben Wax, director of development at Blue Ridge Pharmacy. “We also deliver stat meds when necessary, using in-house pharmacists and drivers, because a pain or antibiotic medication needs to available any day or time.”

 

Keeping Pace with Changes in Medicine

Long-term care pharmacies have adapted to meet needs for new medication packaging types, including single- or multi-med strip packaging; electronic medical administration records (eMAR); and compliance with state and federal policies and procedures, Wax explains. Blue Ridge specializes in industry-leading QuickDose medication dispensing technology and offers routine delivery of medications 6 days a week plus emergency delivery 365 days a year. Blue Ridge has also developed in-house IT support to help facilities stay current with digital record-keeping and billing.

 

Taking the Personal Approach

Blue Ridge Pharmacy was founded to help residential facilities with their most sensitive and complicated responsibilities, so caregivers can focus on patient care instead of paperwork. In-house services and consulting include:

  • IV therapy and in-house compounding
  • Comprehensive drug regimen reviews
  • Disease state management
  • In-service education and CE certifications
  • Regulatory compliance
  • QA/CQI meeting attendance
  • Med pass audits
  • Direct interaction with physicians
  • Formulary management with an emphasis on cost savings to the facility
  • Summaries of recommendations and reports of facility-specific indicators
  • Timely monthly reports to assist in managing your residents’ care
  • Monthly medication storage audits

 

Internal pharmacists alert their partner facilities when items are not covered by Medicare D and make recommendations before those medications are dispensed, for example. In-house consultants are also available to speak with residents and their responsible parties about medication therapies or alternatives. Blue Ridge offers a broad facility experience to help dietary, medical records and nursing staff with Antibiotic Stewardship initiatives and resident care issues.

Finally, Blue Ridge offers customizable transition services to oversee and implement all facets of a new partner facility’s conversion process, including: staff in-servicing, preparation and transfer of medical records, seamless replacement of medication carts, and communication with residents and their families about the transfer. “We take a personal approach to serving our partners by communicating on a regular basis and checking on their satisfaction to find out if we’re hitting the mark,” Wax says. “You will never hear, ‘That’s not my job.’ We ask ourselves instead, ‘How would I do this if my family member were the patient we were taking care of?’”