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Lifespan Opens Retail Pharmacy at Rhode Island Hospital

5/8/2013

Patients can fill prescriptions before they leave the hospital; reduce readmissions  


Lifespan, the state’s largest health care system, is taking a new approach to encouraging medication adherence for patients when they are discharged from the hospital. On May 1, Lifespan opened a retail pharmacy, owned by Lifespan, on the campus of Rhode Island Hospital.

The new pharmacy, centrally located in the hospital’s Davol Building, makes it easier for patients to leave the hospital with the medications they need, eliminating one of the biggest obstacles to medication adherence and thereby reducing the likelihood of readmission. Nearly 75 percent of adults do not follow their doctor’s orders when it comes to medications and this includes not filling their prescriptions, not taking them properly and stopping before the medication is complete. Nationally, the economic impact of non-adherence is $100 billion each year.

“The overall result will be better outcomes for our patients,” said Timothy J. Babineau, MD, Lifespan’s president and chief executive officer. “We’ve found, as have many other hospitals around the country, that patients often forgo filling needed prescriptions once they are discharged from the hospital. Our goal in opening the Lifespan Pharmacy is to increase adherence, which ultimately will keep our patients healthier and reduce the likelihood of readmission. This is part of our ongoing efforts to integrate a patient-centered approach throughout the Lifespan system.”

Patients at Rhode Island Hospital will have the option of picking up their medication in the Lifespan Pharmacy at the time of discharge, or they can have it delivered directly to their home, or in some instances, delivered to the bedside. The pharmacy is staffed by pharmacists who are able to answer questions about dosages, interactions with other medicines, side effects and medication safety, as well as technicians who can assist with questions about prescription coverage. The pharmacists and technicians are using the latest in dispensing technology to help ensure prescriptions are filled quickly and accurately.

According to Christine Collins, MBA, RPh, director of pharmacy for Rhode Island, The Miriam and Bradley hospitals, Lifespan wants to remove the obstacles patients face when it comes to their medications and make sure patients know how to take them correctly. “Medication adherence is critical to the health of our patients,” Collins said. “Far too many patients are readmitted to the hospital when they don’t take their medication correctly or at all. Not only do we want patients to leave the hospital with their medications, but also we want them to know how to take them correctly. This is why we’ve built such a strong education component into the Lifespan Pharmacy. We become part of the patient’s health care team.”

In addition to serving inpatients being discharged, the Lifespan Pharmacy will also be available for patients in the emergency department, ambulatory surgery center and outpatient clinics, as well as for Lifespan employees and their families, physicians, and walk-ins, who would like to utilize the convenient, state-of-the-art services. And, pharmacy services will go beyond prescriptions -- staff can provide several adult vaccinations, including those for flu, pneumonia and shingles.

Prescriptions, including refills, can be ordered online at www.lifespanpharmacy.org, by phone at 401-444-4909 or fax at 401-444-2263. The pharmacy is also able to receive prescriptions electronically through e-prescribing systems. Medications can be picked up at the pharmacy or can be delivered to a patient’s home without an additional cost.

The Lifespan Pharmacy is located at Rhode Island Hospital in the Davol Building (near the Hasbro Children’s Hospital upper lobby) at 593 Eddy St., in Providence. The pharmacy is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. To learn more about the Lifespan Pharmacy, please call 401-444-4909 or visit www.lifespanpharmacy.org.