Long term care pharmacy software is used to manage medication and census data for residents in long term care facilities. The software serves Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes by streamlining the process of pharmacies dispensing medications to long term care facilities. This advanced technology also:
- Streamlines operations in the pharmacy
- Reduces the number of staff needed due to automated processes
- Minimizes medication and process errors
- Enables the facility to meet all regulatory and compliance requirements
The software is typically web-based, which means it can be accessed from any internet-connected computer. This allows staff to access the system from anywhere, at any time. Additionally, the web-based nature of this software eliminates the need to manually fax medication orders from long term care facilities to their pharmacy partners.
A nursing home will typically use a long term care EHR that integrates with their pharmacy’s long term care pharmacy software, enabling ePrescribing of medication. ePrescribing software is a type of nursing home software that eliminates the need for handwritten orders and trips to the fax machine. Orders are instead sent to the facility’s pharmacy partners electronically via the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) SCRIPT, which prevents errors while also complying with long term care regulations.
ePrescribing allows clinicians to send medication orders, census data, resupply, and cancel messages in a standard NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 format to communicate with their pharmacy’s long term care pharmacy software system. This makes the following connections possible:
- Direct connection to the pharmacy software: Here, orders are sent directly from the long term care facility software to the pharmacy’s long term care software. This eliminates the need for a third-party vendor and results in a faster order turnaround time. Take a look at some of the pharmacy services with which NetSolutions’ software connects.
- PrescribersConnection: In this connection type, orders are sent from the long term care facility software to a third-party vendor, which then forwards the order to the pharmacy’s long term care software. This connection is typically used when the facility does not have a direct connection to the pharmacy’s long term care software. The main advantage of PrescribersConnection is that it offers facilities the ability to connect to multiple pharmacies, giving residents the choice of the pharmacy they would like to use.
- Computerized Physician Order Entry (COPE): The third type of connection is Computerized Physician Order Entry (COPE), where orders are sent from the long term care facility software to the pharmacy’s long term care software via a physician’s EHR. This type of connection is used when the facility does not have a direct connection to the pharmacy’s long term care software and the facility is using a physician’s EHR that offers COPE integration. The main advantage of COPE is that it provides a direct connection between the prescribing physician and the pharmacy, resulting in a more streamlined ordering process.
In addition to these connection types, other features one will find in the best ePrescribing software include:
- The ability to quickly send new orders through a one-step process
- Sharing of census information with pharmacies
- Limited-time prescription capabilities
- Pharmacy health information exchange
5 Tips for Choosing an EHR That Integrates With Pharmacy Inventory Software
Long term care pharmacy inventory software is a critical piece of technology for managing medications and improving resident outcomes. This is why pharmacies must have their own long term care pharmacy software installed in their systems. However, a long term care facility cannot benefit from this if it does not have a terrific nursing home EHR. Hence, it is essential that during an EHR Demo, the demo team checks that the long term care EHR they are choosing for their facility integrates with their pharmacy’s software. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Make sure the EHR system can interface with your long term care pharmacy software
As we mentioned, there are multiple benefits that long term care ePrescribing software offers to nursing homes and other similar facilities (reduced errors, compliance with regulations). Hence, before a facility commits to an EHR, they should always ask what long term care pharmacy software the EHR can interface with.
This can be asked during the long term care software demo. Long term care software vendors should always be willing to offer a list of long term care pharmacy software with which their EHR integrates upon demand. The demo team must use that opportunity to ensure that they will not have a problem down the road.
2. Ensure the long term care software vendor is compliant with local and federal laws
Laws and regulations related to long term care EHRs are constantly changing. Therefore, long term care facilities should ensure that the software vendor they choose is compliant with all local and federal laws (e.g., HIPAA). It is also essential to ask the vendor about any changes in the law that might affect the use of their EHR system. For example, if there are changes to the way resident data is stored or shared, the vendor should be able to provide updates to the EHR system so that the facility can stay compliant.
3. Ensure the EHR and the pharmacy are Surescripts certified
Surescripts is a company that provides an e-prescribing health information network for healthcare providers. In order to use this network, long term care facilities must ensure both their EHR and long term care pharmacy software are Surescripts certified.
Long term care software vendors should be able to provide proof of certification during the demo. If they cannot, it may be best to look for another vendor.
4. Check that the EHR can integrate and send orders in the NCPDP SCRIPT
The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) SCRIPT is what is widely used in the United States, and many EHR vendors should have this by default. It is a standardized format for the transmission of prescription and patient information. The format was developed by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) to improve the efficiency and accuracy of prescribing and dispensing medications.
The NCPDP SCRIPT allows pharmacies and prescribers to exchange prescription and patient or resident information electronically using long term care pharmacy software and an EHR, eliminating the need for paper prescriptions and manual data entry. The use of SCRIPT can improve patient safety by reducing medication errors, improving communication between prescribers and pharmacies, and reducing the time it takes to fill a prescription.
5. Consider the cost of the EHR:
The cost of an EHR will play a big role in the decision-making process of which EHR to select for a long term care facility. There are many different payment models for EHRs, some of which are census-based and thus, more affordable. So it is important to understand all of the costs, features, and benefits that are associated with each model before making a decision.
In some cases, the upfront cost of an EHR may be less expensive than the subscription fees associated with a cloud-based EHR. However, it is important to consider all of the costs associated with each long term care software option before making a decision.
Contact us here if you would like to demo our pharmacy-compatible long term care EHR software.
Framework LTC and NetSolutions
Before we conclude, it is worth looking at Framework LTC and how it compares to NetSolutions by Experience Care, as these are two of the first names that come to mind when one thinks of long term care pharmacy software. Framework LTC is a long term care pharmacy software designed to be used by long term care pharmacies. Using this long term care pharmacy software, an LTC pharmacy can streamline its operations and improve efficiencies.
NetSolutions, on the other hand, is a long term care EHR designed to be used by long term care facilities. It is not a pharmacy inventory software. Instead, it is software that nursing homes and other similar facilities can use to interface with pharmacy software. So these vendors serve different markets and their software products are complementary to each other and contribute to resident care in long term care facilities. In fact, NetSolutions integrates very easily with Framework LTC, among other long term care pharmacy software.
The Benefits of EHR ePrescribing and Long Term Care Pharmacy Software
Ultimately, when selecting an EHR for a long term care facility, it is important to consider the needs of the facility and the residents, the ability of the EHR to meet those needs, the vendor’s experience in providing EHRs to long term care facilities, and how well the EHR integrates with long term care pharmacy software. The ability for the long term care EHR to integrate and provide ePrescribing is essential, as it provides a wide range of benefits such as:
- Preventing drug prescription errors
- Notifying nurses of potential drug interactions
- Easing the prescribing of controlled substances
- Reconciling medication records while reducing documentation errors
- Improving resident safety
By following the above tips on selecting an EHR, nurses, and administrators can rest assured that their facility always gets the correct medication when they need it and with all the needed documentation.