How pharmacy technology powers better at-home medical care

We need more convenient care options. To understand this imperative, just look at the rising acuity of seniors. Or to the growing number of adults with chronic conditions. Or to the demand for digital transformation more broadly. (People want faster, more personalized experiences.)

To be clear, this isn’t just a matter of preference. When dealing with healthcare, inconvenience has a direct relationship with non-adherence. And when patients are isolated to their homes – or just unable to easily visit providers in person – that inconvenience can become the source of much graver consequences.

In this blog, we dig into the at-home medical care landscape and how RxLive’s pharmacy technology platform can help improve the lives of patients who rely on it.

Targets patients who need at-home medical care

There are a myriad of barriers that prevent patients from accessing the care they need in the US. And there are plenty more that contribute to medication non-adherence once a patient has received the care they need. And because these factors frequently ebb and flow over time, patients’ physical and material conditions are rarely fixed.

That’s why spotting potential barriers to care is an integral (and ongoing) function of delivering that care.

With a value-based pharmacy platform that integrates EHR data, like My.RxLive, providers can identify the barrier (the inability to easily visit a clinic or other healthcare establishment, in this case), assess whether at-home care is viable, and deliver a care plan that reduces hospitalization risk and optimizes patient health outcomes.

Integrates prescriptive authority and medication expertise into at-home care workflows

Traditionally, at-home medical care programs that rely fully on RNs and LPNs don’t tap into the power of pharmacists. This means there’s rarely prescribing authority baked into these programs’ workflows. And when you’re caring for patients who are effectively isolated from clinics, medical centers, and offices, insufficient access to medication expertise can increase medical costs and the chances of hospitalization.

But when home care programs partner with, and adopt platforms from, pharmacy technology companies, they tap into pharmacists’ specialized knowledge. In more precise terms, this technology-powered pharmacy approach can…

  • Refine patient medication regimens. Maybe the pharmacist identifies a lower-cost biosimilar for a patient. Maybe they spot a potential drug-drug interaction. Maybe they uncover the possibility to prescribe a lower dosage.
  • Personalize care delivery via telehealth. Telehealth is perhaps the greatest tool in providing access to patients isolated from medical environments. With an integrated telehealth platform, patients can easily pose questions to, and meet with, pharmacists.
  • Reduce at-home medical care team workloads. With RxLive’s fractional network of pharmacists handling telehealth consults and managing medications, at-home care teams can focus more on in-person care delivery – something they’re uniquely qualified to offer.

Now let’s look into a specific program that already leans on pharmacists (meds-to-beds programs) and see how pharmacy technology can help further.

Deepens the convenience and effectiveness of meds-to-beds programs

The general premise of a meds-to-beds program is simple: the easier it is for patients to access their medications, the more likely they are to take them as prescribed. But there’s a fair bit that goes into the backend of these programs. This is where pharmacy technology comes into play – and where it can help improve your meds-to-beds process.

Before diving into those improvements, it’s important to recognize the four key benefits of a meds-to-beds program:

  1. Convenience. Whether the underlying barrier to receiving care in a medical institution is geographic or medical, the benefit is the same here: patients get the right medications at the right time in the right place.
  2. Improved medication adherence. When patients can easily receive the drugs they need, the chances of them completing their regimen increase.
  3. Greater patient education. The prolonged, direct relationship between patients and pharmacists with this model gives patients an easier way to learn about proper medication usage, side effects, and the importance of adherence.
  4. Optimized transitions of care. Meds-to-beds programs are often deployed during transitions of care – often from a hospital setting to a home. When patients get their medications delivered, it helps them continue their treatment without any unnecessary interruptions or complications that might come from a transition of care.

There are two reasons pharmacy technology helps deepen these benefits.

The first reason deals with the analytics that we highlighted in the first section of this blog. When you have data that accounts for every step of a patient’s medical journey, and algorithms that predict the most impactful treatment plans, you’re able to deliver a higher quality of care. This data helps care teams uncover and address everything from drug interactions to allergies to additional adherence barriers.

The second reasonpharmacist availability via a telehealth platform – gives patients a reliable expert they can turn to whenever they need. This on-demand access to medication experts helps patients better understand their care regimens and gives pharmacists additional data points they can use to enhance care protocols.

RxLive helps deliver patients the at-home care they deserve

Patients shouldn’t have to compromise their medical care because they can’t easily access it onsite. We need a healthcare ecosystem that doesn’t just provide for the needs of our most vulnerable patients – we need a system that prioritizes our most vulnerable patients. And, in many cases, the most vulnerable patients are those most disconnected from providers and trusted medical experts, i.e., those who need at-home care.Interested in learning how RxLive’s value-based pharmacy solution helps increase access to care while decreasing healthcare costs across the board? Shoot us a message. We’re here to help.

Kristen Engelen, PharmD
Kristen Engelen, PharmD, is the chief pharmacy officer of RxLive and a certified consultant pharmacist; she has over a decade of experience in retail pharmacy settings. Kristen became an RxLive co-founder because of her passion for geriatric pharmacy, with a focus on the intersection of pharmacy and aging.