Need a Prescription?
HealthReach, Winter 2013 | Page 4
Many patients go home from a hospital stay or outpatient surgery with new prescriptions. For the fastest, most complete recovery, it’s important to fill those prescriptions right away. But anyone who has ever been a patient knows that when the doctor says you can leave, the only place you want to go is straight home. Virginia Hospital Center’s new Outpatient Pharmacy makes it easy to fill your prescriptions when it’s most convenient—before leaving the Hospital.
Located next to the Food Court, the Outpatient Pharmacy is open from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm and is staffed by licensed pharmacists. In addition to prescription medications, the pharmacy also carries over-the-counter medications and common post-surgery/discharge items, as well as diabetic and wound care supplies. Medicare and most commercial insurance plans are accepted.
“After leaving the Hospital, patients are sometimes not up to waiting in a pharmacy while a prescription is being filled,” says Amanda Parker, MD, a new general and bariatric surgeon with Surgical Associates at Virginia Hospital Center. “A family member can now get prescriptions filled in the Hospital while the patient is being prepared for discharge. There’s no need to make a separate stop on the way home.”
The Outpatient Pharmacy also is convenient for patients who need prescriptions filled after treatment in the Emergency Department or visiting their doctors’ offices on the Virginia Hospital Center campus.
Prescriptions can be transmitted to the Outpatient Pharmacy electronically, by fax and/or through a paper prescription. Currently, 90 percent of the doctors with offices on the Hospital’s campus are using electronic prescriptions. In order to fill a prescription, the Outpatient Pharmacy also needs the prescription drug benefits from the patient’s insurance.
Convenience isn’t the only benefit of this new service. Studies have shown that having an outpatient pharmacy on a hospital campus can lead to decreased readmission rates, notes Marjan Daneshmand, PharmD, Director of Outpatient Pharmacy. Sometimes, patients forget to fill prescriptions or do not have them filled in a timely manner. Other times, they aren’t able to get to the pharmacy because they lack transportation or the closest pharmacy isn’t open when they can get there.
“Having an onsite pharmacy addresses these potential problems,” Daneshmand says. “As a result, it improves patient compliance with medication therapy and treatment.” Good pain management makes it easier to sleep and to move around; both of those help speed recovery. After the last dose of Hospitaladministered pain medication wears off, it’s important to have the prescribed pain medication filled and available.
“Once you get behind with pain medication, especially the oral form, it’s hard to catch up as it can take 15 to 30 minutes to start working. Having your next dose ready when you get home can ensure you follow the recommended dosing schedule and stay ahead of the pain,” notes Dr. Parker.
Having the Outpatient Pharmacy on campus also provides an opportunity for a personal, private consultation with a pharmacist to address any questions patients and caregivers may have.
“Even though instructions for medications are written on the bottle, filling a whole slew of new medications can be confusing for almost anybody,” Dr. Parker says. “To have a pharmacist take the time to review all new medications, what they are for, how they should be taken, what side effects to look out for, and how the new medications may interact with the old ones is just another way the healthcare team can ensure the patient receives the highest quality of care.”
The pharmacists in the Outpatient Pharmacy have access to the patient’s medical records from their Hospital stay, so they can instantly see the patient’s list of medications and test results from any labs done at the Hospital. “Plus, if the pharmacist in the Outpatient Pharmacy has questions about your medication, it’s very easy for us to contact your doctor to make sure you are taking exactly what you are supposed to take,” adds Daneshmand.
The Outpatient Pharmacy is conveniently located next to the Hospital’s Food Court.
Hours are 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 703.717.7750.