Blog by Mark Wolfe, Customer Account Representative, GrandView Pharmacy
The last three months have been extraordinary times for those managing long term care facilities, whether they be assisted living centers, skilled nursing, or intermediate care facilities. There have been drastic changes in policy and procedures as we try to understand the Covid-19 virus and how to best protect the residents that reside within these facilities, the office and support staffs who keep the facilities functioning, and to the health care workers who are working diligently to either keep the virus at bay; or, to those that have identified positive cases of Covid-19 amongst residents or staff. They do all of this while trying to keep daily activities as normal as possible, care for residents and communicate with anxious family and friends who have not been able to physically visit with their loved ones.
GrandView Pharmacy continues to provide pharmacy services and medications to all of our facility clients, and sometimes this has been a challenge, as we, too, try to better understand the coronavirus and how to best deliver quality service, while maintaining safety protocols and rewriting policy and procedures. Sometimes doing so on a weekly, if not daily basis. There have been occasions where those procedural changes have been rolled out extremely well. But there were also occasions where it was clumsy. That was never our intent but we too were learning how to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect our employees, reduce exposure to the facilities we serve and the residents and staff members within.
One specific valuable service we provide needed to be revamped. In good times (Non-Covid-19 times), we sent a cycle fill technician into facilities to deliver routine medications. This activity was valuable to facilities as the pharmacy staff performed a much-needed service that assisted the facility tremendously. But when the Covid-19 crisis hit, we had to drastically change how we deliver the cycle fill medications. Facilities told us, and we ourselves implemented procedures of not allowing our cycle-techs within facilities, other than an isolated area just inside the doorway. These changes were done to significantly reduce, or eliminate our pharmacy employees from entering facilities, passing through residential areas, coming into casual contact with nurses, receptionists, office staff, let alone residents. We did this to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Through these unusually dark times we, at GrandView Pharmacy, are beginning to see some clarity in dealing with this still not fully understood corona virus crisis. We are implementing minor changes in how we deliver our medications to many of our facilities. Our hope is that these slight changes will be welcomed by facilities.
In many instances, we did not perform a cycle exchange of medications with a cycle-fill technician but would only drop the medications at the doorway. This put a burden on the facility staff. However, since we now have three months experience with the Covid-19 crisis, we are now lifting that restriction on simply dropping off cycle-fill medications.
The procedure going forward will be that GrandView Pharmacy will now…
- Send to the facility a list of their residents that use GrandView and the medications they need. The form needs to be signed by each facility, usually the Director of Nursing, before they receive their cycle fill. You should receive this form 3-4 days prior to your cycle fill date.
- The Director of Nursing should review this form for accuracy, notate any missing medications or changes in medication orders, sign it and fax it back to the pharmacy as soon as possible. The sooner the pharmacy receives this form back, the sooner we can check the cycle fill order to make sure it is accurate. The facility MUST sign and RETURN the form every time it is sent to the facility so that pharmacy can complete the fill and send to the facility.
- For cycle fill medications only, GrandView Pharmacy will no longer simply drop off cycle-fill medications at the door of your facility. The exception to that being if your facility policy during Covid-19 crisis is for a drop-off only, we will continue to do so until we are notified differently.
- These changes are for cycle-fill exchanges only. There are no changes in routine deliveries while under Covid-19 restrictions. This means our daily deliveries, and stat deliveries will continue to be at the designated location, passed along to a facility staff member, usually a receptionist. GrandView Pharmacy employees WILL NOT enter the facility.
The above-mentioned changes are now in place as we want to provide the best service for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns over these changes lease let us know by contacting your Account Manager. For northern Indiana, Ohio and Michigan that would be Mark Wolfe, 317-450-5723. For central and southern Indiana please contact Charissa Widegren, 317-771-3649; or simply call GrandView Pharmacy at 1-866-827-7575.
About the Author
Click here to learn more about Mark and the rest of the GrandView team.