Nursing facilities bear a significant burden regarding medication-related challenges within the vast healthcare landscape. Startling statistics reveal that these challenges come with an enormous financial price tag. 

Annual costs reaching a staggering $7.6 billion are attributed to adverse drug events (ADEs) within nursing facilities nationwide. This figure underscores the profound impact that medication-related issues can have on the financial well-being of nursing facilities. To address this challenge, the significance of establishing connections between pharmacies in post-acute care (PAC) settings cannot be emphasized enough. Clear communication and collaboration between healthcare facilities and pharmacies will revolutionize medication management, enhance patient safety and ultimately alleviate the financial strain on nursing facilities. 

One of the primary benefits of connecting pharmacies in post-acute care is improved medication management. A direct line of communication between healthcare facilities and pharmacies ensures that critical information such as medication orders, dosage changes and patient profiles can be instantly transmitted. This real-time connection streamlines the whole process, reducing delays and potential errors. Pharmacists can quickly review and verify prescriptions, cross-reference patient information and identify potential drug interactions or contraindications. This comprehensive oversight enhances medication safety, minimizing the risk of adverse events and promoting optimal patient outcomes.

Real-time information is essential. Pharmacists can actively engage in medication reviews and counseling sessions. They can assess the appropriateness and efficacy of prescribed medications, identify potential adverse effects or drug interactions, and collaborate with healthcare providers to make necessary adjustments. This collaborative approach ensures that patients receive personalized medication regimens, improving patient satisfaction, medication adherence, and overall health outcomes.

Connecting pharmacies in a post-acute care setting poses challenges for care facilities, including the lack of standardized communication protocols, interoperability issues between electronic health record (EHR) systems and pharmacy software, privacy and security concerns, and limited technological implementation and maintenance resources. Overcoming these challenges requires collaborative efforts, technological advancements and industry-wide standardization.

To overcome the challenges, post-acute care facilities can take proactive measures. Establishing partnerships and collaborations with pharmacies that prioritize technological integration can ensure standardized communication protocols and interoperability. 

This can be achieved by working closely with pharmacy software providers to integrate their systems with the facility’s EHR system. Secondly, implementing robust privacy and security measures, such as encryption and compliance with regulatory standards, can safeguard sensitive patient information during data transfer. 

Additionally, seeking financial assistance through grants, government programs or healthcare initiatives can alleviate the burden of limited resources for technological implementation and maintenance. Actively participating in industry-wide discussions and initiatives for standardization can help drive the development of consistent protocols that improve and ease the adoption of these efforts.

When integrated with pharmacy software, EHRs enable accurate and consistent information exchange and ensure pharmacies have up-to-date patient profiles. Additionally, e-prescribing platforms and pharmacy management systems provide the means to transmit prescriptions, facilitate medication synchronization, and automate refill processes. This can be accomplished through secure communication channels, such as health information exchanges (HIEs), which enable the transfer of sensitive patient data while adhering to strict privacy and security standards.

Collaboration between pharmacies in post-acute care is integral to providing optimal care and improving patient outcomes. Technology is pivotal in establishing this connection, lighting the way to transforming patient care. With enhanced medication management, efficient data transfer and innovative solutions, we continue to expand our integrations to benefit our residents, clients, and post-acute care system.

Claire Stephens, Vice President, American HealthTech.  AHT is a member of the CPSI family of companies, offers services and solutions created specifically for skilled nursing and senior living organizations.  As a leading EHR provider to post-acute care and senior living organizations of all sizes, the AHT solution delivers a seamless flow of information between care settings, resulting in better coordinated care and improved financial outcomes.  For more information, visit

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.

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