In 2013, MorseLife, Palm Beach County’s premier provider of health care and housing services for more than 2200 seniors, added PACE to their continuum of services. They opened Palm Beach PACE Center on their campus, and in November began enrolling participants. Palm Beach PACE enables seniors to live independently at home for as long as possible through a full complement of senior care services.
MorseLife’s SVP Community Based Services, Dr. Alan Sadowsky, led program development for PACE. Understanding that PACE provides a unique model of care, he was dedicated to collaborating with innovative and experienced “PACE-specific” partners. Sadowsky also hired a Medical Director, Clinic Manager, and Nurse Manager with past PACE expertise.
A seasoned PACE medical director, Dr. Ivan Merkelj knew that efficient medication management is key to the success of clinical operations. He was familiar with the challenges of using local pharmacies and LTC pharmacies for PACE, and he 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 experts in PACE Pharmacy and partnering with the right pharmacy from the beginning was a crucial decision, even before we selected our EMR,” stated Dr. Merkelj. “CareKinesis was the frontrunner because 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.
Susan Larimore, RN, is the Palm Beach PACE Nurse Manager. Also a seasoned veteran of the PACE world, she is very satisfied with her partnership with CareKinesis. “CareKinesis understands 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. She describes the partnership with CareKinesis in quotes that follow.
Susan Larimore, RN:
- “I have seen so much waste. Pharmacies that don’t understand PACE only provide 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 Megan (my Pharmacy Technician) and Michael (my PharmD) on a daily basis.”
By March 2014, Palm Beach PACE had grown to 35 participants. “It is not too often that one can say that a system makes their job easier, but CareKinesis does. I am one happy camper,” stated Larimore.
With a scalable system, Palm Beach 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 medications ensures safety for PACE participants.