Removing Barriers To Appropriate Palliative Care For Hospice Patients

End-of-life care is complicated, even with patient directives, experienced providers, empathetic caregivers and upfront preparation. Care during this season of life, referred to as palliative care and often delivered in a hospice care environment, includes giving attention to the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychosocial needs that a patient has. 

By definition, palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to care that aims to minimize suffering and optimize quality of life for those living with a serious, and often terminal, illness or condition. It is most often associated with pain relief and pain management, which almost always requires some type of pharmaceutical intervention involving pain management medications.

While statistics reported by the World Health Organization suggest that more than 56 million people globally are in need of palliative care each year, just 14% receive it. One of the biggest barriers to proper palliative care is restrictive regulations regarding opiates like morphine, a valuable pain management medication used in hospice patient care and other long-term care facilities. 

Responding To Changing Needs

Patients receiving palliative care can experience unexpected and sudden changes to their conditions, which may require quick interventions on the part of providers and pharmaceutical partners. At UnitedRx, our experience with hospice care facilities is built on a trusted framework that allows for long-term care facilities to avoid common barriers that come with accessing certain types of medications. 

Put simply, our team is able to respond quickly to the changing conditions a patient is experiencing, providing our long-term care facility partners with instant access to end-of-life medications when they’re needed. The technology utilized at UnitedRx allows for our team to help long-term care facility partners more efficiently navigate around the regulatory and logistical challenges that often act as obstacles to care in the hospice industry.

Pharmacy As Part Of A Palliative Care Puzzle

Long-term care pharmacies, like UnitedRx, are only one part of the palliative care puzzle. But, they are a valuable piece, especially when it comes to patient comfort and the comfort of family members — knowing their loved ones aren’t suffering — during a difficult time. Of course, best practices call for palliative care to be initiated as early as possible, as it addresses quality of life in addition to end-of-life comfort. 

Most often, those receiving palliative care are living with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases or other conditions, such as kidney failure or chronic liver disease. While palliative care covers a range of interventions, long-term care facilities are often involved in some capacity, and as an experienced and trusted pharmacy partner, UnitedRx does has processes in place to help long-term care facilities create cost-saving efficiencies while delivering essential care.

Reach out to our team to learn more about how our partnerships help patients achieve better outcomes.

At UnitedRx, we deliver a hometown pharmacy experience to more than 400 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.