How Home Infusion Pharmacists Provide Therapy | Theresa Morrow, PharmD | RxEconsult

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How Home Infusion Pharmacists Provide Therapy Category: Pharmacy by - May 11, 2016 | Views: 27673 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

5. Unraveling Patient Compliance 

After the fourth dose, JS’s labs are repeated. The level is supra-therapeutic. The pharmacist discovers that the blood was drawn too soon following administration of the dose. The lab is invalid. The level is rescheduled. The patient and home health nurse are re-educated about drawing procedures and dosing times. 

In other cases, the physician managing the medication might not recognize the lab as invalid. He or she makes the assumption that everything was drawn and given at correct times. We receive a new order. Our team must contact the physician with an alternative plan to repeat labs rather than adjust the dose. 

6. PICC Line Issues 

After six weeks of monitoring, JS is nearing the end of therapy. She needs an order for PICC line maintenance or an order for removal. Too often the removal of the PICC line is a forgotten item because the physician who is managing care is not the provider who placed it. And everyone assumes everyone else is handling it. 

The pharmacist  contacts the infectious disease doctor who explains JS has an appointment in a week. They send an order for PICC line maintenance. The new service is evaluated and the process begins again.  

Patients with PICC lines and no plan is by far our most common problem. The pharmacist spends hours trying to develop a plan with the team of physicians. This step is imperative to preventing improper maintenance of the PICC line. Poor care can result in life-threatening issues, like a blood infection or blood clot. 

Final Investigative Report

Home infusion therapy is proven to shorten the length of stay in the hospital and prevent future hospitalizations. There are many hidden tasks that occur behind the scenes. It is not as simple as it seems. More often than not, the home infusion pharmacist must put on a private investigator hat and solve a multitude of problems.  

What other problems do you solve as a home infusion pharmacist? Share your experience by joining and logging into RxEconsult.  

About The Author

Dr. Theresa Morrow is one of the home infusion pharmacists at Vital Care of Southwest Virginia.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

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