A Simplified Approach to Discontinuing Medications for Participants at Home

In PACE pharmacy, medications are typically dispensed to participants in monthly increments that are either picked up at the PACE center or delivered to the home. But what happens when a participant’s medication regimen needs to change in the middle of a cycle? Because PACE participants usually take multiple medications for a variety of medical conditions, it isn’t uncommon for physicians to switch out a medication or change its dosing. It also isn’t a problem. We’ve created a seamless process designed to handle medication regimen changes when they occur—without compromising participant safety or health. Read on to learn more. Let’s first take a look at the “why” behind our packaging. Medication nonadherence is a significant problem among the senior population and is especially critical for PACE participants. With this in mind, Grane Rx uses innovative packaging called SimplePacks when dispensing PACE pharmacy medications. This packaging is just one part of the overall Grane Rx PACE Pharmacy Solution, which is designed specifically with seniors in mind—featuring clear, understandable information about medications to encourage adherence. Each month, participant’s medications are packaged together inside two color-coded boxes: one for everyday medications and one for medications that are taken as necessary. Within those boxes, medications are packaged in SimplePacks, which are easily opened perforated packs of medications taken at the same time of day, whether morning, noon, evening or at night. This unique PACE pharmacy solution offers a much better medication management system than the bingo cards typically used by long term care pharmacy and other PACE pharmacy providers. The very thing that makes our packaging unique and innovative—our SimplePacks perforated pill packs—can seem like it would be tricky when medication changes are needed. But actually, that isn’t the case. [Tweet “A simple #PACEpharmacy process can make medication changes seamless”]

“Immediate Change” Medications in PACE Pharmacy

The first step in managing medication changes is identifying medications that must be immediately changed. The vast majority of medication changes, including dosage changes, don’t need to be made immediately. Those changes can simply wait until a participant’s medications are dispensed again. Our PACE pharmacy worked with a team of physician and pharmacy experts to compile a list of medications that need to be changed immediately, along with medications that are more subjective in nature. When Grane Rx partners with a new PACE center, we review this list with the center’s medical staff to ensure it aligns with their practices. The center-specific list is adjusted as necessary at that time. Prescriptions identified as immediate change medications are placed in separate SimplePacks and not commingled with other medications. This typically includes certain classes of medications, such as anti-hypertensive drugs, that require periodic adjustments to dosage or to determine which medication works best for a participant. Because these medications are automatically packaged separately from the rest of a participant’s medication regimen, those pill packs can simply be removed and the replacement medication incorporated—at any time. In the case that a new, non-immediate change medication is prescribed for a participant, that medication is packaged as a one-off and then incorporated into the participant’s normal SimplePacks the following month. When it comes to PACE pharmacy services, Grane Rx thinks through all the possibilities and offers the solutions your PACE center needs. Get started today by calling (412) 449-0504 or emailing paceteam@granerx.com. ]]>

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