Blog by Mel Green, Director of Business Development and Public Relations, GrandView Pharmacy

Over the last two years the most common concern I hear from Directors of Nursing, Administrators and Executive Directors is the intense pressure they are experiencing as it becomes more-and-more difficult to find quality staff and retain them.

The nursing home segment in healthcare is one of most highly regulated in any business or industry, which also contributes to a deficit in care providers willing to work in nursing homes. The caregivers that I meet, and work with are great-hardworking people, and they care immensely about the well-being of their community’s residents.

However, the staffing crunch is making it tough to provide the quality of care they demand without over working their staff and creating a poor work environment. So, as a third-party provider, I thought to myself, “How is my company contributing to help battle this crisis or what is my company doing that contributes to the crisis?”

If you are a Nurse, CNA, Administrator or Executive Director reading this, you are aware that the average resident staying in a senior living community takes an average of 8-14 medications daily. However, most of society has no idea that our elder population relies so heavily on medication. And furthermore, they are not aware that the nursing staff is tasked with assisting these residents to take all these medications timely and correctly.

The average size nursing home has the capacity to care for 104 residents at any given time. So, if we do some simple math the nursing staff in an average sized nursing home could potentially administer 1,456 (104×14= 1,456) pills a day! Now factor in that each resident has the right to choose what pharmacy they use. Therefore, the nursing staff may have to work with up to 104 different pharmacies in order to get the medications for their residents. Now, this is not likely, but it is safe to say that the nursing staff in an average size nursing home will have to work with 5-10 different pharmacies at any given time to obtain medications needed for their residents.

The daily process of obtaining the medications for their residents, ensuring the medications are correct, ensuring the medications are given at the rights times, and that everything is documented correctly is extremely time intensive. Now, think about all the other tasks that a nurse is charged with on any given day…

As a partner to over 80 senior care communities, we are aware of the multiple challenges that nursing staff can face daily. Our goal is to provide processes and solutions that improve medication outcomes, decrease pharmacy related errors, reduce hospital readmissions and reduce pharmacy related expenses.

One of our oldest and most effective programs to help save nursing time, and labor is our cycle fill program. The cycle fill program is a foundation of our company, which allows us to automatically refill routine capsule and tablet medications. This program frees up nursing time because your nurses only need to manage as needed medications (PRN), control substances, and treatments. This program has been proven to save 1- 2 hours of nursing labor per med pass by reducing the number of medications that need to be manually refilled. In addition to the program being automated, our licensed pharmacy technicians deliver and check in the medications for your nursing staff!

Our cycle fill program is only one way we can help save your nurses time, which could potentially lead to a more inviting work environment. You can learn more about our time saving technology solutions and clinical programs that improve patient outcomes here. Please contact me with any questions about how we can help!

Reference:
(1) meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/rf4/rf4.shtml
(2) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_038.pdf
(3) http://www.nhpf.org/library/issue-briefs/IB784_RxDrugs&NursHomes_11-12-02

About the Author

Click here to learn more about Mel and the rest of the GrandView team.

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