A Systematized Approach to Pharmacy

Eliminating Waste and Streamlining Clinic Workflow

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In 2013, MorseLife in Palm Beach County, Florida, the premier provider of healthcare and housing services for more than 2,200 seniors, added the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to their continuum of services. They opened the Palm Beach PACE center on their campus and began enrolling participants in November of the same year. Palm Beach PACE enables seniors to live independently at home for as long as possible through comprehensive medical and social services coordinated and provided by a team of professionals.

MorseLife’s Senior Vice President of Community Based Services, Alan Sadowsky, PhD, leads program development for PACE. Understanding that PACE provides a unique model of care, he is committed to collaborating with innovative and experienced “PACE-specific” partners. Sadowsky hired a medical director, clinic manager, and nurse manager with past PACE expertise.

The Challenge

Ivan Merkelj, MD, a seasoned PACE Medical Director, was familiar with the challenges of using local and long-term care pharmacies for PACE, and was confident that by partnering with a PACE-specific pharmacy he could avoid waste and medication errors. “I knew that CareKinesis is established as the expert in PACE pharmacy, andpartnering with the right pharmacy from the beginning was a crucial decision,” states Dr. Merkelj. “Their systems are designed to streamline PACE clinic workflow, eliminating redundancy.” After choosing CareKinesis, Sadowsky and Merkelj selected Greenway’s Prime Suite EMR that seamlessly integrates with the CareKinesis medication platform for medication management and e-prescribing.

The Solution

Susan Larimore, RN, the Palm Beach PACE Nurse Manager, has extensive experience in PACE and is very satisfied with Palm Beach PACE’s partnership with CareKinesis.

“CareKinesis understands the difficulties of PACE status changes and location changes,” she explains.

Susan is the prime end-user of the CareKinesis/Cognify integration and the sole nurse managing  medications for Palm Beach PACE.

The Results

Susan Larimore, RN:

  • “I have seen so much waste. Pharmacies don’t understand that PACE only provides 30-day supplies. CareKinesis tailors mid-month medications and synchronizes them to their next routine fill, eliminating overlap that causes waste.”
  • “The options to deliver “next cycle” or “next day” and to deliver to home or center give us flexibility.”
  • “The CareKinesis cycle refill process eliminates calls from families and participants, making my job easier.”
  • “CareKinesis staff is great to work with. Through secure messaging, I contact my Pharmacy Technician and my PharmD on a daily basis.”

Conclusion

By March 2014, Palm Beach PACE had grown to 35 participants. As of July 2019, their census is more than 500 participants in three centers.

“It is not too often that one can say that a system makes their job easier, but CareKinesis does. I am one happy camper,” states Larimore.

With a scalable system, Palm Beach PACE can continue to grow without hiring more staff to manage medication inefficiency. Using the software integration, clinicians prescribe in EireneRx and the medication list is automatically updated in the EMR, eliminating the need for duplicate entry. Using one version of the medication record ensures safety for PACE participants..

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