Pharmacies play a critical role in providing pharmaceutical treatment to various healthcare settings, including hospices and long-term care (LTC) facilities. There are primarily two types of pharmacies when it comes to catering to the needs of these particular settings: open-door and closed-door establishments. Each model has its specific qualities, advantages, and difficulties. In this article, we will examine the differences between these two pharmacy models within the framework of hospices and long-term care facilities.
Open-Door Pharmacy Model
The open-door pharmacy concept calls for a pharmacy that is accessible to both patients who are already treated at the healthcare facility and patients who are brought in from the outside. In hospices and long-term care facilities, an open-door pharmacy is available to residents, carers, staff, and surrounding community members who may need pharmaceutical services. This paradigm provides several benefits, including:
- Open-door pharmacies allow pharmacists to directly connect with patients in various settings, including delivering consultations, answering questions, and resolving issues related to medicine.
- Residents can receive their medications without any delays. This is of utmost significance for individuals who require quick medical attention.
- The presence of an open-door pharmacy can encourage community interaction and provide educational opportunities, such as workshops on drug management.
- Patients can select their preferred pharmacy to fill their prescriptions, which may increase patient satisfaction due to the flexibility offered.
Nevertheless, the open-door pharmacy concept is not without its share of difficulties, including:
- The pharmacy personnel can experience increased workloads due to serving both in-house residents and outside patients, which may affect the services’ quality.
- Allocation of Resources: Keeping a pharmacy in the storefront format running involves additional resources, such as space, staffing, and regulatory compliance.
- Privacy Concerns The patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality may be violated in a more public setting. This is especially problematic in long-term care institutions, which place a premium on patient discretion.
Closed-Door Pharmacy Model
In contrast, the closed-door pharmacy model operates solely to meet the medication requirements that the healthcare institution’s residents impose. This technique entails the delivery of pharmaceuticals directly to the hospice or long-term care facility, where they are subsequently distributed to the patients receiving care there. This paradigm provides its own unique set of benefits, including:
- The closed-door pharmacy model is designed for streamlined operations, focusing only on serving the medical needs of the facility’s inhabitants. This model is designed to maximize efficiency.
- Pharmacists can concentrate solely on clinical and operational responsibilities, which may result in an improvement in drug management and the overall safety of patients.
- Patient privacy and safety are paramount at closed-door pharmacies, where all prescription transactions and dispensing occur within the establishment’s four walls.
- Medication distribution can be more effectively managed and standardized, lowering the possibility of making mistakes.
Despite this, the closed-door pharmacy concept is not without its drawbacks, including:
- Limited Patient Interaction Because residents may have fewer opportunities to engage with chemists directly, this could result in unanswered queries or concerns on the part of the patients.
- A pharmacy with closed doors may offer different community engagement or educational opportunities than one with open doors.
- Dependence on Facility Staff The staff at the facility plays an integral part in obtaining, storing, and dispensing pharmaceuticals, which can provide its own unique set of issues.
Summarizing the whole discussion, hospices and long-term care homes, whether to have an open-door or closed-door pharmacy depends on several criteria, including the size of the facility, the patient population, the resources, and the facility’s top priorities. Both models come with their own set of advantages and difficulties, and whichever one is chosen should be in line with the overarching objective of delivering pharmaceutical treatment that is secure, efficient, and centered on the patient.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a happy medium between patient contact, ease, privacy, and the procedure’s effectiveness. No matter which model is used, the primary focus should continue to provide the highest possible standard of pharmaceutical treatment to the vulnerable populations housed in long-term care and hospice institutions.
We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to your pharmacy needs. Make an appointment with TIB Pharmacy and we will analyze your pharmacy’s workflow and present you with various technical options that make logistical and financial sense to improve efficiency.