Beginning Tuesday, October 13, a pilot project will launch in the Clinical Care Center that will allow the opportunity for surgery patients to have prescriptions filled prior to discharge. This will save families from having to make that extra stop at a pharmacy to fill post-surgery prescriptions. At this time, the service will be available only for Same Day Surgery patients.
The collaboration between the departments of Pharmacy and Surgery began in an effort to improve patient experience. Texas Children’s Hospital recently developed the ability to accept commercial insurance for prescriptions, and outpatient surgery was determined to be a good model for the pilot program given the consistency in medications that are prescribed and the predictable volume of patients.
“This project is just one more way we can make the surgery experience better for our patients and families, and at the same time ensure our patients receive their medication,” said Dr. Larry Hollier, surgical director of the operating rooms and surgical director of patient experience.
In surveys and post-op phone calls to families, it was also discovered that in many cases prescriptions are not filled in a timely manner because it is too much trouble for parents after a day at the hospital.
How does It work?
At check-in for surgery, families will be asked if they would like to have any post-surgery prescriptions filled before leaving the hospital. If so, a note will be made on the chart.
The care provider will then simply print out a prescription and place it on the patient’s chart. In the recovery room, a PACU nurse will tube the prescription, insurance information, and a contact phone number to the pharmacy on the third floor of the Clinical Care Center.
The pharmacy will prioritize all Clinical Care Center surgery prescriptions, and medications can be expected to be ready within 45 minutes to an hour. Once ready, a pharmacist will deliver the medication to the family in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and perform medication counseling.
“Should this pilot be successful, the implications for our hospital and the patients we serve are far reaching,” said Jeff Wagner, director of pharmacy services at Texas Children’s.
Based on pilot results, next steps would center on developing a plan to implement this service in phases for all patients of Texas Children’s Hospital, from those who are here for an outpatient visit to inpatients that can have discharge prescriptions delivered to bedside.
“Not only will this service have the potential to improve patient experience, but there is value to improving the quality and safety of prescription services commonly experienced in the community,” Wagner said.