Chapter 47 – The Role of the Pharmacy

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The pharmacy is an outside agency apart from the home health agency. The pharmacy is responsible for dispensing medications to patients after receiving orders from the patient’s provider. For home health patients, they may receive their medications by mail. However, if patients do not have access to that service, their caregivers typically drive to the pharmacy and pick up their medications for them. Some pharmacies even set up reminders of patients to pick up their medications when it needs refilling.


Home health nurses, home health aides, and pharmacists can collaborate to improve patient outcomes by providing drug and treatment information. The importance of providing this information cannot be overstated. Patients often have questions and pharmacists can help by providing patient-friendly information. In the past, pharmacists have not collaborated well with nurses and home health aides. The lack of proximity and distance to hospitals and physicians can limit their collaboration. However, pharmacists and nurses can improve their working relationships by collaborating with other health care professionals.

Pharmacists have extensive training to provide basic health care services to patients. They can help patients manage diabetes by explaining how to use a glucometer and interpreting readings. They can also help patients find over-the-counter medications for common ailments. These services should be offered by pharmacists in home health. And pharmacists can also provide patients with information about the use of medications and the effects they may have on the body.

The pharmacists should be competent to perform the home health infusion. In addition to receiving proper training, pharmacists should take part in a competency assessment program and continue their education. The assessment of their knowledge, skills, and experience should be valid and documented. The pharmacists should provide accurate information to patients about their medication therapy. They should also be able to answer patients’ questions and address their concerns in a concise and timely manner.

There are also various types of drug therapy and pharmacists play a pivotal role in managing and promoting cost-effective care. PBMs, hospitals, health plans, and accountable care organizations routinely utilize pharmacists to reduce costs and maximize patient outcomes. In addition, pharmacists can assist physicians and health care providers by assessing the effects of drug therapies, making recommendations, and recommending alternatives.

They should develop comprehensive services to address factors unique to home infusion

The development of comprehensive services is particularly important in a home infusion pharmacy because caregivers often lack adequate health care training and knowledge. It is critical for caregivers to be trained to administer medication and operate appropriate devices for their patients. Home health agencies are responsible for teaching caregivers and making sure caregivers perform the skilled medical tasks well. Moreover, many medications require aseptic compounding, in quantities sufficient to last for a week, and delivery under controlled conditions to ensure product potency and purity. Moreover, home infusion pharmacies should develop systems and policies that ensure quality and safety of care.

While home infusion pharmacies provide consultations by telephone, pharmacists should consider expanding their reach by developing a home visit program. Home visits should improve patient compliance and simplify complicated drug-related issues for patients. A pharmacist should be available 24 hours a day to answer questions. In addition, a home visit may be helpful to ease the transition from hospital to home. And pharmacists should take an active role in infection-control activities.

A pharmacy director should ensure the effective use of personnel and resources. The resources should be sufficient to protect patient confidentiality. The pharmacy director should ensure that staffing plans reflect factors such as weekend hours, flex time, and exempt or nonexempt status. The director should also consider other factors that affect pharmacy staffing, such as on-call pay and shift differentials. In addition, a pharmacist should ensure the confidentiality of patient information.

The pharmacist should document all clinical actions and recommendations in the home infusion patient’s medical record. Moreover, pharmacists should consult other health professionals and document the consultations and outcomes in the patient’s medical record. The pharmacy should develop a process for consistent documentation and reporting of services. Finally, pharmacists should ensure patient privacy at all times. There should be appropriate training for all employees working in a home infusion pharmacy.

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