The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) has released a new report, “A Primer on the Value of Pharmacy Services in Long-Term Care Settings in Canada.”
Neighbourhood Pharmacies engaged and collaborated with the Conference Board of Canada in the development of the report, meeting with stakeholders and conducting analysis to gain a clear understanding of this issue – a critical one given Canada’s aging population, strained healthcare system, and focus on creating capacity.
“Pharmacies will always be committed to providing the highest quality care possible for their patients and, in the case of long-term care, pharmacy services are critical due to the complexity of these patients,” said Sandra Hanna, CEO, Neighbourhood Pharmacies. “Pharmacy teams work interdependently to create capacity in environments facing significant capacity challenges – and pharmacy services are essential to the effective functioning of long-term care settings.
“We developed this report as a way to emphasize and communicate the distinct value pharmacies deliver in long-term care facilities,” Sandra adds. “We plan to generate discussion around the fact that patient outcomes are measurably improved when pharmacy is thoroughly integrated into the broader patient experience.”
The report relies on empirical findings and analyses, including ongoing population trends, academic literature, and discussion with the long-term care pharmacy industry, long-term care home operators and government representatives.
Summary of report key findings:
- Long-term care stakeholders indicate that patient outcomes can be improved through further integrating pharmacies, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians into the broader patient experience. Here, it is believed that well-integrated pharmacists can more accurately understand patient needs and, by extension, more accurately manage patient medications.
- Long-term care pharmacies are leveraging new technologies, like automation, to deliver highly specialized medications on-demand to improve patient safety and administration efficiency. Significant ongoing capital investments have been made to specifically cater to long-term care patients.
- Long-term care pharmacists can improve patient outcomes by playing increasingly large roles in medication reconciliation, promoting timely patient transitions and prescription safety.
- Health system stakeholders, including all levels of government, should consider the distinct value propositions related to long-term care pharmacy because, over time, it is anticipated these service providers will become increasingly important to successful patient health outcomes.