The Invaluable Expertise of a Long-Term Care Pharmacist

Long-term care pharmacists serve a unique and essential role for long-term care facilities. As the American population continues to age, and the Baby Boomer generation enters a phase of life that may require more care, the specialized expertise offered by a long-term care pharmacist becomes increasingly valuable for the partners that rely on them.

Beyond providing care for a geriatric patient population at nursing or long-term care facilities, this specialized class of pharmacists may also serve in other settings such as correctional facilities, youth and group homes, rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing facilities.

According to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), long-term care pharmacists — in general — choose one of two career paths with a long-term care pharmacy, such as UnitedRx. They either focus on dispensing medication and management of operations, or they focus on providing consultative services. 

Due to the complexity of the patient population and how ailments may differ from the general population, long-term care pharmacists are acutely mindful of medication dosage requirements, drug interactions, drug therapy regimens and formulary decisions, according to the APhA. Elderly patients in particular, for example, may experience different therapeutic effects from medications as compared to the general population, which may limit medication options.

It is this type of expertise that long-term care pharmacists employ. 

Of course, long-term care isn’t needed exclusively for the elderly, the incarcerated or those undergoing rehabilitation. So, long-term care pharmacists are well versed in providing medication regimens for patients living with long-term, chronic and sometimes degenerative conditions such as HIV, ALS, multiple sclerosis or other developmental challenges.

As a long-term care pharmacy founded by pharmacists, we at UnitedRx understand the unique challenges faced by administrators, caregivers and healthcare providers at long-term care facilities in a way that can only be earned through experience. The demands are high, the margin for error is low and the drive to provide exceptional care for patients in need is ever present.

Knowing that, long-term care pharmacists are active members of a patient’s care team, interacting regularly with the patient and his or her physicians to make sure that certain medication-based therapies are doing what is needed for each unique situation. While long-term care pharmacists must provide customized care to meet the needs of individual patients, there are common responsibilities that the pharmacists and their partner pharmacies embrace.

Those may include: 

  • Reviewing drug regimens, medical records and clinical visits.
  • IV therapy services.
  • Monitoring patients and their response to medications over time.
  • Prescribing necessary medical equipment.
  • Medication research.
  • Counseling patients.

In addition, long-term care pharmacies may provide distinctly different services than pharmacies designated for the general population. Those services may include patient education programs, at-home diagnostic services, medication delivery and lab testing among other valuable and exclusive services.

At UnitedRX, we deliver a hometown pharmacy experience to more than 350 clients across the country. Contact us to learn more about how our approach to treatment can meet the pharmacy needs of your long-term care facility.