Pharmacists Deliver Outpatient Meds Bedside with Meds-to-Beds
Next month pharmacists at ThedaCare Pharmacy-Shawano will provide inpatients at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano with their outpatient medications before they leave the hospital. The pharmacy, located inside ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano clinic, will launch the Meds-to-Bed program at the adjacent hospital. Meds-to-Beds is a newly developed system modeled after successful programs in larger hospitals, including Froedtert in Milwaukee.
Because the Shawano medical campus is uniquely equipped with a separate outpatient pharmacy, ThedaCare pharmacists Bobbi Brahan, PharmD, RPh, and Will Gillis, PharmD, RPh, saw an opportunity to boost both convenience and medication compliance amongst the hospital’s patients. “Research shows that a significant percentage of newly discharged patients wait more than a week to fill their prescriptions,” said Brahan, “and a number of them never pick up them up.”
“When you think about it, who really wants to drive to a pharmacy and wait in line right after being discharged from the hospital? We are aiming to get patients home as quickly as possible after discharge with the appropriate medications in hand,” said Gillis. Not taking medications as prescribed by one’s doctor, or prescription noncompliance, is a top reason patients are re-admitted to the hospital for the same or related ailment.
To participate in the ThedaCare Meds-to-Beds program, Shawano hospital patients sign a consent form and show their outpatient prescription insurance card. Hospital physicians send prescriptions to ThedaCare Pharmacy-Shawano via the patient’s electronic medical record. Prior to discharge, the prescriptions are filled and a pharmacist personally delivers the prescriptions to the patient’s bedside, collects co-payments, and answers any questions he or she may have.
“We can also catch insurance issues before discharge if a medicine that was used in the hospital is not covered or preferred as an outpatient medication,” said Brahan. “We consult with the physician to find an alternative. The program is another avenue of communication to better serve the patient.”
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 34 clinics in 14 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.