Innovative partnership pioneers the nation’s first pharmacy-initiated order entry process
WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Heritage Senior Living, one of the largest senior living companies in Wisconsin, today announced a partnership with Medication Management Partners (MMP), who specialize in innovative medication management solutions for long-term care communities. The partnership will allow the two companies to work jointly toward the goal of simplifying the medication administration process and reducing med-related errors for residents throughout Heritage’s 15+ communities.
Decreasing Iatrogenic Risks
“According to the CDC, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.,” says Jaime Schwingel, Heritage’s vice president of quality and clinical operations. “Due to senior’s particular health challenges, these iatrogenic risks – including medical errors, unnecessary medical treatments and serious drug interactions – are a true problem for assisted living residents, but they oftentimes go unnoticed in the industry.”
“Heritage is committed to delivering a great lifestyle for our residents, but also the best quality of care, which means we’re dedicated to decreasing these iatrogenic risks,” says Pierre Verger, Heritage Senior Living’s chief operating officer. “That’s why Heritage is continually refining our clinical operations, shifting our focus to a clinical model, which brings more skills and evidence-based practices into our company. Our focus on medication safety is a great example of that.”
As part of this focus, Heritage has been gradually transitioning medication administration into the hands of licensed practical nurses (LPNs), rather than resident assistants, which has been the industry standard. Resident assistants’ generalized focus means they often multitask, switching back and forth between medication administration, care duties, food service and more. Concentrating medication administration amongst LPNs allows these nurses to utilize their more precise knowledge and direct care focus to better oversee the process.
Heritage has also committed to reducing overall reliance on medications through non-medication therapies. Utilized particularly in Heritage’s memory care units, these therapies include multi-sensory stimulation rooms, aromatherapy, pet and art therapies and innovative brain training applications, as well as specialized physical and cognitive activities.
Heritage’s commitment to quality also includes the formation of innovative partnerships, like that with MMP, which allow the organization to improve the entire medication cycle, from ordering to administering.
“Nearly 90% of senior living residents require assistance with managing their prescription drugs,” says MMP CEO Labinot Avdiu. “Considering the complexities and risks associated with poor medication management in senior living, it can be one of the more important aspects of the resident experience.”
This unique partnership has already led to several successful initiatives, like MMP’s M-Pak medication compliance packaging system, which was deployed in Heritage communities earlier this year. The system breaks down each resident’s medications by day and time of day they should be taken, and each package is clearly labeled with the resident’s name, directions for use and other important information. M-Pak has been proven to improve both distribution accuracy and medication adherence.
“Heritage also recently rolled out PointClickCare (PCC), the leading e-health software in North America, whose electronic medication administration records (eMAR) provide another level of safety for residents,” says Schwingel. “As part of the MMP and Heritage partnership, MMP has generated uniquely customized interfaces that integrate with PCC to further streamline and refine the medication administration process.”
Nation’s First Pharmacy-Initiated Order Entry System
Combined, these electronic systems allow for a first-in-the-nation pharmacy-initiated order entry process, wherein prescriptions flow directly from physicians to the pharmacy, and are then sent directly to the community for nurses to verify and approve. When it comes time for administration, staff receive an actual printout picture of the medication and the resident to ensure they are distributing the right medication to the right person at all times.
“Initiatives like these ensure that the caregivers have the most accurate and up-to-date records, along with the right medications at the right time,” says Avdiu. “As a result, caregivers can spend more time with each resident, and families can have the peace of mind knowing that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.”
“Heritage’s focus on decreasing iatrogenic risks is consistent with our vision of changing the assisted living industry for the better,” says Verger. “Our goal is to not only make Heritage a better place to live, but also a safer place to age.”
About Heritage Senior Living
Headquartered in West Allis, Wisconsin, Heritage Senior Living was founded in 2000 by Milo Pinkerton to provide residents with the highest quality of care possible, while at the same time promoting independence and maintaining dignity. Heritage Senior Living has 15 senior living communities throughout Wisconsin – plus one currently under development – that are home to more than 2,500 seniors. Most Heritage Senior Living communities offer several levels of care, from independent living to assisted and enhanced assisted living and memory care units, so that residents can embrace life’s journey from the comfort and convenience of one location that meets all of their physical, mental and emotional needs. For more information, visit: heritagesenior.com/.
MMP specializes in providing innovative medication management solutions to long term residential care communities. Our passion is to improve quality of life and simplify pharmacy.
We serve assisted living communities, supportive living communities, memory care communities, and CILAs with accuracy, reliability and a proven service delivery process tailored to community and resident needs. MMP delivers industry leading solutions that enhance resident outcomes and help community partners realize the benefits and advantages of MMP’s streamlined, scalable, and integrated medication management system. To learn more, visit: .mmprx.com
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