Houston is the largest metropolitan area in the State of Texas and like many major cities in America there is a wide demographic or age groups living in Houston. There isn’t just one where certain types of people in long-term care will be in some type of palliative care facility. A Houston hospice pharmacy servicing one will provide the immediate resource doctors need when prescribing pain relief medication. It is common for patients who are at a terminal stage with a disease to be in considerable pain. Families and friends want to relieve them of their suffering to enjoy their remaining time.
However, some patients in hospice care may in fact end up leaving care. While it is mostly people who are terminally ill in a hospice, there are some residents who may recover once they receive care. There are many reasons why people choose hospice care at end of life. Fortunately, there are also instances when people overcome their illness. Part of that is in different choices about medications and combination therapy.
Having a Houston hospice pharmacy facility for dispensing medications is a huge plus. Working in this type of pharmacy is different than what a pharmacist, pharmacy tech, or palliative care nurse would experience. The experience is different than working in a storefront pharmacy or hospital pharmacy.
Onsite Reliability and New Technology
One good example nowadays is many nurses working in hospices will use some type of digital portal. It alerts when medications are administered and when to be restock and deliver. And delivery with the onsite pharmacy is made much easier. We’ll see incorporation of this into each Houston hospice pharmacy soon.
Similarly, using these types of digital nursing tools will help with talking to patients about their medicines. More importantly, they will ensure there’s no misunderstanding for the dosage of the medication to be delivered that day. When it comes to palliative care, this is important. Especially if the dosage for certain powerful painkillers needs to be exact.
It may also be a situation where State-specific healthcare protocols are a factor. Meaning dispensing opioid painkillers used in palliative care may be different in Texas than it is in other States. As stated, providing relief from extreme pain is important for the caretakers at a hospice. But these medications must be dispensed with more care than other Rx drugs.
It’s also a necessity to have immediate access to these medications and there will likely be times of the year when demand spikes. A Houston hospice pharmacy within the care facility makes that possible.
Role of Dispensing Pharmacy in Hospice
Gastrointestinal, hematology, and psychiatric needs are prominent for pharmacists working in a Houston hospice pharmacy. And most of them have operational realities similar to those in other big cities in America. Palliative care requires the collaborative effort of an interdisciplinary team. An Altmetric survey indicated that 61% of hospices collaborated with at least one pharmacist providing pharmaceutical services. 75% of pharmacists in these facilities have full authority to dispense medication for hospice patients.
Similarly, the survey found that 69% of hospice pharmacy pharmacists are involved in the procurement of drugs needed for dispensing to hospice patients. Pharmacists and pharmacy techs working in a Houston hospice pharmacy will typically not provide therapeutic services or participate in ward rounds. Their works is strictly in the site’s pharmacy or working as a hospice pharmacy service. This is where medications are brought into the facility on an as-needed basis.
Hospice Pharmacy Service
If a hospice care facility does not have a pharmacy on site, then they will almost always use a hospice pharmacy service. These services are typically provided by a reputable local pharmacy located nearby. Often, they serve facilities that are within 50km of them. This makes sense as deliveries will be made on a daily basis. That being said, there will be times when having the medications delivered as sooner is necessary.
Medicare routinely pays out around $20 billion to hospice claims for medication. This can certainly give you an idea of both how busy a Houston hospice pharmacy will be. Similarly you will learn how essential their services are for people who are terminally ill. Above all, the push is for the best quality of life for their remaining time.