By Zane Schott
In building the information technology (IT) platform of the future, Grane Rx recognized the need to do more with less as well as to prepare for the enormous healthcare challenges ahead. A prime example is the Grane Rx PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) pharmacy solution for individuals who need skilled nursing care but elect to remain in their home or community settings, where eligible.
Technology at an Advanced PACE
Progressive provider programs like PACE require advanced technologies and processes that integrate seamlessly with the PACE Program clinical systems. Yet with more than 1,000 participants throughout Pennsylvania served by Grane Rx’s PACE pharmacy solutions, there was pressure from its diverse customer base to meet them technologically where participants reside.
Bob Rowland, SVP and COO of Grane Rx, speaks to Grane’s ability to respond, “Grane Rx PACE pharmacy solutions is focused on providing real-time information to enable our customers (long-term care communities) to do a better job of providing care for their residents. Since long-term care facilities have multiple EHR or eMAR platforms, varying staffing levels and other needs, Grane Rx dedicated time and resources to creating interoperability between customer EHR systems, CPOE medication order systems, and eMAR medication administration systems to synchronize resident patient information via ADT.”
Traditionally, pharmacy solutions within long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) and senior living providers have been considered advanced if they used technology-enabled services.
Examples include employing geriatric pharmacists to provide a full clinical care summary of each resident, reducing adverse drug events through decision support and alerting or dispensing medications via automated cabinets.
Grane Rx provides those services as they are pioneers in their creation. But in defining the future, Grane Rx’s investment in full interoperability between its internal systems and their customers’ external systems allows for complete automation of medication safety, in real- time, across each point in the value chain.
Lessons learned from Grane’s participation in PACE are helping support culture change in other settings, such as skilled nursing. Rowland states, “At the end of the day, what Grane Rx is changing is the mindset of those caring for the older population by using technology to provide education and engage residents to enhance their quality of life.”
Personalized care empowers residents to make their own decisions about some routines, such as when to take medications.
This approach, in conjunction with technology, creates the proper environment for a shift toward being resident-centered.
“There is more to the story than just being able to log on to an EHR and begin working. We provide personalized technology so our customers can meet their customers’ (residents) specific needs.”
Long-term care pharmacies have been seen as medication experts for years and have earned the trust of nurses to ensure proper processing and reporting of medication on medication administration records. EHR systems often call for the nurses to enter medication orders instead of pharmacy personnel.
Commonly the conversion takes more than 60 days, due to challenges in managing change in culture and adoption as well as education to drive the new processes.
Rowland proclaims emphatically, “Grane Rx will integrate with any eMAR or EHR vendor, or any system to create the best outcome for residents. The LTPAC should choose its EHR system, not the pharmacy.” Clearly this statement is not just a company position, but an invitation for others within the LTPAC and senior living community to do the same.
Zane Schott, VP of business development, BlueStep/BridgeGate Health, is a veteran in designing and deploying innovative integrated healthcare solutions. BridgeGate is the industry’s most advanced systems integration technology provider; BlueStep provides the industry’s only client- configurable care and clinical platform with an integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR). BlueStep/BridgeGate Health leads the industry with an open market philosophy and proven capability to connect any system or application (including competitors) to create powerful Clinical Care Exchanges™. Visit www.BridgeGateIntl.com.
This article originally appeared in Issue #2 of Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News