A Higher Standard: Automated Pharmacy Fulfillment
“[Historically], the pharmacy department is one of a hospital’s greatest cost centers. Most improvement efforts focus on reducing cost. However, pharmacy can also be a major contributor to revenue — with little upfront investment. Consider that pharmacy can provide support services to decrease length of stay, manage medication through collaborative practices, and facilitate appropriate medication reimbursement.” ~Becker’s Hospital Review
Pharmacy Fulfillment through MediaCare
Providing automated Pharmacy Fulfillment to discharging patients offers them the opportunity to have their prescriptions filled prior to discharge. This supports the patient with clear information and saves them from having to remember their prescription during what can be a hectic time. Stopping at the pharmacy to wait and have prescription(s) filled, a patient or their caregiver may not remember correct information about the medication, application or dosage. HCI offers Pharmacy Fulfillment through MediaCare, integrated with existing pharmacy and delivery systems. Patients access the app with their pillow speaker through the Bedside Tablet TV, in-room television, or via their in-room Interactive Patient Whiteboard. Achieve higher patient satisfaction with the organization and the quality of the stay by giving them the opportunity to ask questions of the in-house pharmacist once they’ve received their medication. This frees up Nurse and clinician time and increases productivity within the pharmacy fulfillment operation.
The Statistics are Alarming
A recent study has shown that about 50% of patients cannot recall discharge orders, and of these, 70% will likely be readmitted, and the Network for Excellence in Healthcare Innovation reports that from 10 to 30 percent of first-time hospital prescriptions are abandoned by patients and so are not taken for the first time.1 2 A patients’ failure to fill a prescription or failure to be adequately educated about their medications leads to an increase in sentinel events/readmissions and a poor patient experience reflected in HCAPS scoring – and losses in reimbursement.
Individuals with language, cultural, lower health literacy or challenges with comprehension and understanding that have prescriptions filled prior to leaving the hospital increase the likelihood of compliance. A hospital pharmacist and staff social workers can work with the Care Team to assist individuals with cultural or comprehension challenges to tailor and deliver one-to-one instructions with language translation, ALS interpretation, or other appropriate social service support. This increases the opportunities for understanding and adherence when care transitions from hospital to home.
Used in conjunction with the HCI Medication Search Module, patients can research their prescribed medications to ensure they’ve received the correct medication and learn more about side effects and dosing.
Better Understanding with Medication Search
Generally, most patients will have a change made to pre-operative medications prior to surgery and have additional medications prescribed post-surgery. HCI Pharmacy Fulfillment can be used in conjunction with the HCI Medication Search Module, video education, self-care cards, teach-back, and other materials to support patient constituents in taking their medications correctly at the right time interval. 4 Armed with knowledge about correct medication treatment and application, patients and families are empowered to stick to the treatment plan and avoid emergency room visits, crisis events or a readmission.
Readmissions represent a significant expense for healthcare facilities. Implementing HCI’s bedside Pharmacy Fulfillment app reduces readmissions, streamlines workflow and supports patients in their full recovery. The app can work in tandem with our Rx Search app, allowing patients or their families to search for and identify their specific medication prior to discharge. As part of a complete patient engagement and entertainment solution, request a demo today and learn how to raise your facility’s HCAHPS satisfaction scores, secure CMS reimbursements and reduce operating costs.
Priorities for patients being discharged include well-coordinated follow-up care instructions and accurate medications. Active patient participation in medication management in the healthcare organization has significant impacts on patient safety and lowered risk for providers:
- Reduction in medication errors and preventable readmissions
- Increased compliance once discharged
- Higher revenue from higher number of prescriptions fulfilled
- Better patient understanding of medication effectiveness, purpose and side effects for increased health literacy
- Improved therapeutic outcomes
We welcome a discovery conversation to learn more about your organization’s requirements and leveraging your pharmacy into a profit center. Schedule a brief, personalized virtual or in-person demo today and let’s get started!
1 Are Engineered Hospital Discharge Programs Decreasing Re-hospitalization, 2009; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
4 Coughlan D, Sahm L, Byrne S. The importance of health literacy in the development of ‘Self Care” cards for community pharmacies in Ireland. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2012 Jul;10(3):143-50. doi: 10.4321/s1886-36552012000300004. Epub 2012 Sep 30. PMID: 24155830; PMCID: PMC3780487