Long-term care (LTC) facilities are comprised of organizations that provide medical care and/or living assistance for a longer period of time than the average hospital visit or the average length of time spent in a rehabilitation-oriented facility.
To best serve patients and residents, many LTC facilities need access to prescription medication. In this entry, we look at three major benefits of using blister packs to dispense medication in long-term care situations.
Whether you are a nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, inpatient behavioral health facility, or long-term chronic care hospital that provides rehabilitative, restorative, and/or ongoing skilled nursing care to patients, a blister pack can prove invaluable to handling the overwhelming amount of medication that requires dispensing.
Blister Packs as LTC Pharmacy Products
Some LTC facilities — particularly hospitals and behavioral health facilities — have a closed-door pharmacy in-house, while others use pharmacy delivery services to acquire medications. Regardless of which situation is in play, packaging medications in blister packs can offer three significant advantages that impact both patients/residents and staff.
- Easier for Staff to Administer Medication
LTC facilities tend to be understaffed instead of staffed to the limit. Consequently, staff need to make excellent use of time to ensure that each patient or resident receives the necessary care.
Blister packs help LTC staff do this in two ways: by removing the need to retrieve medication from multiple prescription containers, and by eliminating the need to keep a manual record of multiple doses for patients who take medicine more than once a day. Blister packs clearly show what medication should be administered to a patient and when he or she should receive it.
- Autonomy for Assisted Living Residents
Some assisted living residents have a physical disability but are capable of managing their basic needs, such as taking medication. Blister packs can help these residents remove medication easily and accurately. The result is a win-win situation: Residents get to experience more autonomy, and staff have a lower workload for medication management.
- Helps Prevent Medication Dispensing Errors
Blister packs help reduce medication dispensing errors in two ways: by clearly stating days and times when medications should be taken, and by containing all pills for a specific dosage time within a single blister. Preventing medication errors does more than promote positive health outcomes; it can also impact the reputation of your facility, which can impact future revenue. As an added value, both patient and staff can see at a glance if a dosage was missed.
In the Market for LTC Pharmacy Products?
If you operate a long-term care facility, and you don’t use blister packs for medication dispensing, implementing blister packs can bring three major benefits, depending on your type of facility: They make it easier for staff to administer medication, can help residents experience more autonomy by handling their own medication, and help prevent medication dispensing errors that lead to negative health outcomes and negative press for the facility.