Upstate introduces ‘meds to beds’ program as it opens outpatient pharmacy
A new outpatient pharmacy is now open for business at Upstate University Hospital.
The 1,000 square-foot pharmacy serves hospital patients at Upstate and those receiving care at its outpatient clinics. It is also available to dispense prescription drugs to the public.
A key highlight of the pharmacy is its “meds to beds” program that features the delivery of prescription medications to patients at the bedside before they are discharged.
“This is an exciting opportunity that enables Upstate to provide an added layer of care to our patients,” said Luke Probst, PharmD, Upstate’s executive director of Pharmacy.
In addition to providing medication to patients before discharge, the meds to beds program enables patients to receive medication counseling by a pharmacist who is familiar with their hospital stay. The pharmacy team also will work with physicians and other staff to facilitate obtaining pre-authorizations for medications, if necessary.
A benefit of the meds to beds program is that it eliminates the need to stop at a pharmacy on the way home from the hospital to pick up medications.
“Ensuring that patients have their prescription medicines before they are discharged helps improve medication adherence and can reduce hospital readmissions,” Probst said.
The meds to beds program works with Upstate’s electronic medical record. The pharmacy receives the prescription order as soon as it is entered into the electronic medical record by the physician or nurse practitioner. If there are drug interactions, they are immediately flagged by the pharmacy, adding an extra layer of patient safety.
Another benefit to patients is the Upstate pharmacy’s ability to offer financial support to meet copays or other financial barriers patients may face in paying for their prescriptions. The pharmacy has an advocacy foundation and other programs to assist patients with financial challenges.
Patients will have the opportunity to enroll in the meds to beds program upon admission to the hospital.
The pharmacy is located just inside the main hospital entrance. It is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Upstate pharmacy accepts most major insurance. Individuals interested in transferring their prescriptions to the Upstate Pharmacy may contact the Pharmacy at 315-464-DRUG (3784).
As an added service, the pharmacy has a special drug disposal box located right outside the pharmacy entrance. Unwanted or expired prescriptions, even medications prescribed for animals, can be dropped off here. This eliminates potential consumption of a discontinued medication, reduces drugs entering the waste stream and avoids potential abuse of unused controlled substances including opioids.
Prior to the opening of the SUNY Upstate Pharmacy, Kinney Drug operated a retail pharmacy inside hospital.
Future expansion of outpatient pharmacy services to 550 Harrison, UHCC and the Community Campus will be evaluated.
A pharmacy technician working in the new Upstate Pharmacy.