|What is a Senior Care Pharmacist?|
A senior care pharmacist is a pharmacist who provides expert advice on the use of medications to individuals and older adults, wherever they live.
Senior care pharmacists are committed to providing person-centered care, taking into account the complex interrelationships between disease states, nutrition, medications, and other variables. They are essential clinicians on the health care team, and influential decision-makers in all aspects of medication therapy.
Senior care pharmacists counsel patients, provide information and recommendations to prescribers and caregivers, review patients’ medication regimens, present in-service educational programs, and oversee medication distribution services. While a senior care pharmacist may provide this type of clinical expertise to any age group, senior care pharmacists focus on the special pharmacotherapeutic challenges of the senior citizen.
ASCP Membership Practice Settings
Senior Care pharmacists practice in a wide variety of settings including, but not limited to, the following:
Senior care pharmacists are involved in many different aspects of health care delivery:
George F. Archambault, often referred to as the founding father of this unique and exciting clinical work, coined the phrase "consultant pharmacist." The name originated in the nursing home environment when a group of innovative pharmacists focused on improving patient outcomes through judicious use of medications in these long-term care facilities.
"Consultant pharmacists" -- commonly referred to as "senior care pharmacists" -- now practice in a wide variety of other settings, including sub-acute and post-acute care, assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, correctional facilities, and in home and community-based care -- wherever seniors reside. Senior care pharmacists share a common commitment to enhance the quality of care for all older persons through person-centered care, including medication use and promotion of healthy aging.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines consultant pharmacist as those pharmacists involved in skilled nursing facility operations and clinical care of residents. They help development of policies and procedures for medication administration and disposal; perform in-service training activities for facility staff related to medication administration and other aspects of medication therapy, round with physicians to examine patients and make recommendations for changes to medication regimens; educate family members, residents, and ombudsmen regarding medication therapy and policies and procedures within the facility; and assist the facility with compliance with laws and regulations, such as OSHA standards for hazardous chemicals.
Federal law requires the facility to “act upon” any recommendation made by a consultant pharmacist, including recommendations based on formulary considerations. Click her to view CMS's Review of Current Standards of Practice for Long-Term Care Pharmacist Services