Transitioning Long-Term Care Pharmacy Providers

Feb 13, 2019 | Blog

In a long-term care setting, transitioning providers for any type can seem daunting. You may be concerned about adding work for your team, disrupting resident care or even causing general disorganization and chaos, all of which are valid concerns.

When choosing HealthDirect as your long-term care pharmacy provider, you won’t have to worry about any of those “what ifs”. Our personalized care approach ensures a seamless transition when switching to our pharmacy services.

Why switch pharmacy providers?

Let’s address the elephant in the room: Why switch pharmacy services? HealthDirect’s personalized care approach devises a transition plan built to the unique needs of each long-term care facility. No two care centers are the same, and the pharmacy services should reflect that. If your current pharmacy provider is not addressing your facility’s specific needs, it may be time to consider the HealthDirect approach.

The stress-free process begins with detailed planning and a kick-off meeting. Our team collects demographic and process data about your facility and schedules a plan for transition. Then, our team securely transfers your facility’s data to our system, so we can begin planning for your pharmacy services. Next, we build in-service training designed just for your team. After training, we prepare to go-live with your new nursing home pharmacy services. Our team members are onsite, working directly with your staff, to ensure a seamless transition. Even after we take on services, we provide continuous support to your team. With a transition recap, weekly visits, financial impact review and more, our team is by your side with constant support.

For the inside scoop on our transition process, we talked to Jenny Hengst, a facility director at Care Partners in Ladysmith, WI. Jenny recently selected HealthDirect as her facility’s long-term care pharmacy provider. Jenny has worked with Care Partners since 2002 and knows first-hand what makes a successful partnership for her facility. Read on for an inside look at her experience when transferring to HealthDirect nursing home pharmacy services.

How would you describe the pharmacy transition process with HealthDirect?

The process created a very simple transition. I didn’t have to lift a finger other than making the initial call for services. I felt like everything was upfront, so I knew exactly what to expect. The best part: No extra work was put on my plate. My HealthDirect transition team took all the information and made sure that the hard work was taken care of. My only task was to switch forms for families. However, that did not increase my workload.

What was the timeline of the transition process?

Our planning meeting was held at least 30 days before the official transition, but the full acclimation window was 3 months. The planning meeting was open forum, and everyone was able to ask questions. The process of getting data transferred and set up took the longer than the rest of the process, but after data transfer things went pretty quick. Even switching out forms only took a month.

After transition, my team continues to learn new things about what they can do and how easy it is. When working with other pharmacy providers, they didn’t seem to understand the needs of long-term care facilities. HealthDirect really understands our job and care needs.

When a question does come up, the HealthDirect staff is very pleasant to work with and they know how to handle the situation every time I pick up the phone. With other long-term care pharmacy providers, I was often wondering if they understood a single problem I had.

What are some of the benefits of HealthDirect’s pharmacy services you’ve already noticed?

First and foremost, everything is so easy to use. There’s been little bursts of happiness around every corner when we realize what we can do. For example, the stickers on the RX labels easily peel off so staff doesn’t have to worry about spelling the names of the medications. Printing the MARs is easy too, and it’s on heavy paper in color, making it easy to read. Organizing medications is streamlined because everything comes prepared. In addition, we only must count half the med cards now. Forms, punch cards and refills are really simple, too. It’s the little things that make our jobs easier that we really appreciate.

In addition, HealthDirect’s support hours are more conducive to our work. We provide service 24 hours a day and the later medication delivery is especially helpful when a resident need comes in later in the day. The whole team is very empathetic. When you start working with someone new, you often have to repeat something multiple times while they’re learning. HealthDirect was never frustrated as we asked the same questions multiple times.

Tell us a little bit about the training process.

Training was held just a short time before going live, which was helpful because all the information was fresh in our minds. Staff from both facilities I manage were trained in the same day. Not only did our transition support team explain what was going to happen, but also why. It was helpful to know the why behind everything we were learning. Also, our HealthDirect team was there for all the trainings and then also for the actual switch of the medications to make sure everything was available.

Do you have a specific story of working with a HDRX team member that really stands out?

This one just exemplifies the ongoing support HealthDirect provides. One day, HealthDirect team member, Mary, visited us for a cart audit. She found meds that were expired and from the old pharmacy. Sometimes the staff inadvertently hangs on to PRNs that are old. Going through old meds is one of the tasks you know needs to happen, but it is easy to forget. It was so nice to have someone watching out for that. In my previous experience with LTC pharmacy services, we never had anyone take that initiative.

Overall, the cart audit process was simple and personalized. Mary knew where everything was and knew what she needed to do. Her presence didn’t disrupt my team’s work. She was there to do her part and let us do our job. With other pharmacies, you might have a specific agent, but you don’t always get to talk with that person.

Why were you in the market for a new pharmacy contract for your facility?

Poor customer service is the reason we left our previous contract. They don’t look at our facility’s individual needs. Instead, we were just another customer. In fact, I even had someone say he couldn’t figure out why “we needed to be catered to.” At HealthDirect, our unique needs are addressed and they’re always willing to help.

Does your team enjoy working with HDRX?

Yes! I have not heard one negative comment from staff about HealthDirect since they’ve started. Everyone enjoys the benefits and ease of working with our new pharmacy services team.

Learn more about a HealthDirect pharmacy contract for your nursing home.

To learn more about the benefits HealthDirect’s pharmacy services can provide your long-term care facility, contact one of our helpful team members today. As long-term care pharmacy providers, we have the solutions to meet your care center’s needs.

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Summer Hagens

As HealthDirect brand manager, Summer champions all efforts in delivering truly personalized care at the right time and every time.  

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