What Is Long-term Care Pharmacy?

The elderly account for 34 percent of all prescription drug users.
The elderly account for 34 percent of all prescription drug users. (Image: BakiBG/iStock/Getty Images)

For long-term facilities like nursing homes, hospice centers and assisted living facilities, long-term care pharmacists handle the medication needs of the residents. Pharmacists who work in the long-term care pharmacy field are also called consultant pharmacists.

Main Function

Most long-term care facilities contract outside long-term care pharmacy companies to take care of prescription medication needs for patients. Because many elderly patients in care facilities cannot manage their own medications, the long-term care pharmacist assures that each patient receives the correct drugs in the right doses. The pharmacist dispenses the correct drug and dosage, seals the medication and distributes medications to each patient.

Additional Roles

Long-term care pharmacists provide other services as well, including reviewing patient medical charts and prescriptions to spot potentially harmful interactions. They also educate the long-term care patient and his family on the treatment and medications for his particular conditions or diseases. Other services long-term care pharmacists provide include nutrition assessment, intravenous therapy services, enteral feeding and laboratory testing.

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