Freedom of Choice: Grane Rx makes flexible medication pass times simple

Download a PDF of our Freedom of Choice story now.
entry_freedom_of_choiceIn the 1980s, change was in the air. A small group of nursing home leaders began to ask themselves, “What can we do to provide a more home-like setting for our residents?” That simple question started a movement, leading to the Culture Change mission of today. It began with something as simple as referring to patients as residents — and understanding that residents live in their homes, not an institution. Now, long-term care nursing homes across the country are embracing resident-centered care. It’s about dignity: giving residents more freedom to decide how they live their lives. At the heart of that choice is deciding when to take their medications. When residents have the freedom to choose, it improves quality of life. Grane Rx makes flexible medication pass times not only possible, but simple — and that’s change for the better.

Ensuring Residents Feel at Home

The aim of culture change is to mirror what a resident would do if he or she were still living at home. “When would she take her medications at home?” asked Nancy Boyd, RN, BSN, Consultant Pharmacy Nurse for Grane Rx. “If possible, residents should have the choice to take their medications at the same time they did when living at home. That’s what flexible medication pass times are all about.”
Instead of traditional, rigid medication pass time schedules — say at 8 am and 4 pm — flexible schedules allow for a range of possibilities that residents can choose from, such as:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Bedtime

“Of course, medication pass times still have to follow doctor’s orders,” Boyd explained. “And, if the pharmacist has special instructions — such as taking the medication with food — the pharmacy makes sure the schedule accommodates that. But above all, flexible medication pass times help facilities achieve what they want most: to provide a more like home-like setting for their residents.”

Supporting Culture Change

Grane Rx supports culture change in long-term care. For facilities ready to advance their resident-centered care options, we will support them with the transition.
Consider the facility benefits:

  1. Provide more personal care that meets each resident’s lifestyle
  2. Medication pass times are more efficientProvide nurses the flexibility to adjust their own medication pass time schedules, while still remaining compliant with regulations

“Perhaps best of all, it doesn’t cost one extra cent,” Boyd said. “This is simply about doing what’s right for residents. That’s why we’re all here.”

Putting Residents First at Vincentian Home

“We want our residents to make as many of their own choices as they can,” said Kathie Jacob, RN, Evening Supervisor and Pharmacy Liaison for Vincentian Home in Pittsburgh. What is the primary choice that residents want to make? “How they manage their time,” Jacob said. “And when they take their medications is an important part of that. It’s about being resident-centered, not medicine-centered. So we coordinate with Grane Rx to manage flexible medication pass times. Grane Rx has truly become a part of our team and has been most helpful in making the change. It’s wonderful.”

Choosing the Program

As part of its Culture Change program, flexible medication pass times provide Vincentian Home the freedom to give residents more of what they want most: choice in how they live. “It works for every type of resident,” Jacob explained. “Even short-term residents benefit, because they don’t have to adjust to our medication schedule and then go back home to change again. With flexible medication pass times, we can mirror their home schedule while they’re here.” And that’s just the beginning of why the program was the right choice for Vincentian Home:

  • Stronger community reputation: Facility administrators experience the impact that satisfied residents and their families have on Vincentian Home’s standing in the community. “It just doesn’t feel like an institution here,” Jacob said. “Residents and visitors recognize that, and it’s another reason why we have more than one resident here from the same family.”
  • Satisfied families: “When residents are satisfied, so are their families,” Jacob said. When families visit, they don’t have to think about medication pass times. “They can take their loved one to dinner when they want to.”
  • More freedom for nurses: Nurses can adjust medication pass time schedules to spend more time with residents who need more help. Residents who aren’t aware of when they take their medications need extra attention, and flexible medication pass times make that possible. It gives a nurse more time to be a nurse.

Collaborating for Culture Change

With any major change, there’s always some concern about disruption — but strong planning will make the transition seamless. And that’s just what happened, as the clinicians from Vincentian Home and Grane Rx worked to customize the right program for the facility. “The biggest factor was our nurses working with Grane Rx nurses,” Jacob said. While the team continues to make ongoing improvements, there’s no question that flexible medication pass times work. “Plus, it’s compliant, as our recent visit from the Department of Health demonstrated. They approved our new approach. Clearly, it has been a positive change for everyone.”

About Vincentian Home

Set in a park-like campus in Pittsburgh’s North Hills, Vincentian Home is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Part of the Vincentian Collaborative System, Vincentian Home includes independent living for seniors at Vincentian Villa retirement community, personal care for 50 residents and skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

About Grane Rx

Grane Rx is the complete pharmacy solution for 32 long-term care communities serving 4,500 residents in Pennsylvania. Known for technological innovation and putting the needs of customers first, Grane Rx simplifies pharmacy services in a changing and challenging healthcare world.

Are Flexible Medication Pass Times Right for Your Facility?

Contact your Grane Rx representative at 412-449-0504 to learn how we can support your journey to resident-centered care. Or visit for more information.
Download a PDF of our Freedom of Choice story now.]]>

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