01 October 2013

Innovative PACE Medication Management Services: Pharmacy Solutions for a Growing Organization

The PartnerMcGregorLogo

In 2010, The A.M. McGregor Group, with more than 100 years of experience with nursing facilities, was selected to manage the local Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and McGregor PACE was born.

McGregor PACE aims to resolve the shortage of affordable senior housing, train and educate the workforce in aging services, and improve the quality of life for seniors. Their mission is to support seniors in need and those who serve them. Currently, McGregor PACE provides services to more than 300 participants at its Cleveland and Cleveland Heights centers.

The Challenge

McGregor PACE staff are keenly aware of the need for PACE in the community. “I credit much of our early growth to our medical staff—especially Dr. DeGolia—for being in the community, witnessing how
much PACE was needed, having big goals, and actively recruiting,” explained Dr. Balina. With an enthusiastic marketing and intaorganization, McGregor has achieved a 70% growth rate in just three ke department and a community reputation as a high-quality years. Of course, such growth can bring challenges.

Cynthia Balina - McGregorPharmacist consulting was one of these. According to Dr. Balina, medication ordering was very transactional: “With so many new participants, we always need on-demand clinical pharmacist input into the care plans.” McGregor needed a pharmacy partner with high availability, with whom they could build a trusting relationship.

Another challenge was medication delivery. “We used to get two to six calls a day about medications from participants, and when these calls happened at 10 on a Friday night, it was somewhat difficult to address the problems,” says Dr. Balina. Also, nursing staff was spending too much time receiving, sorting, repackaging, and organizing medications which detracted from real caregiving. Transportation staff constantly juggled medication deliveries with participant transportation needs.

The Solution

“Above all, we wanted good customer service—someone on our team.” In CareKinesis, McGregor PACE found pharmacy staff who share its passion for taking care of the elderly.

“CareKinesis really understands PACE,” says Dr. Balina. She appreciates that pharmacy staff understands geriatric pharmacology, and is knowledgeable about the complicated world of PACE and the needs of PACE participants.

The Results 

“We went from about 25 participant medication calls per week to zero,” says Dr. Balina. She attributes this reduction to the CareKinesis system, in which participants’ refills are sent directly to homes in customized packaging, according to their preferences.

After nearly two years of partnering with CareKinesis, the McGregor PACE management team reports success:

  • The continuity among the care team that the CareKinesis system facilitates is extremely valuable. Staff appreciates their own personal pharmacy representatives.
  • With the packaging options, determining compliance is so much easier for nurses when they visit participants’ homes.
  • Before CareKinesis, nurses did so much administrative work with medications—sorting, repackaging, arranging deliveries; time spent caregiving has definitely increased.

Conclusion

McGregor PACE staff has been very happy with the relationships they’ve developed with their CareKinesis pharmacy team. The pharmacy focus on customized medication management complements the McGregor philosophy of providing personalized, patient-centered services.

“CareKinesis is the safe alternative that maximizes compliance. They bring their pharmacy experience and expertise to our PACE team in a creative and passionate way,” says Dr. Balina. “We look forward to embarking on additional quality improvement endeavors with CareKinesis.”