Serving long-term care communities is what Heartland is known for and hospice is part of Heartland’s expertise. Hospice is generally known as the care residents receive at the end of their lives. A reliable and supportive pharmaceutical partner is paramount for hospice communities, where timelines are shorter and stakes are higher. Residents with extreme pain, anxiety, or discomfort are some of the challenges in a hospice community, and the role of pharmacy provider is critical.
Jessica Stalder is the executive director of hospice at the Hospice of Laramie. She has 11 years of experience in the medical field and spent six of those years at Edgewood Senior Living. She says working in hospice is unique, especially when it comes to forming relationships with residents and their family members. Meeting a hospice resident during such a vulnerable time means that making a good first impression is usually the only way to gain the trust of the resident and their family members.
While at Edgewood, Jessica was responsible for the switch from a local pharmacy to Heartland Pharmacy. She says Heartland made the transition completely painless by taking care of the necessary paperwork and checking in with her regularly, among other things.
“They did all the legwork,” she said of their attention to detail.
Before making the switch to Heartland, Jessica and her staff had no real connection with the local pharmacy they were using. Medications weren’t arriving in a timely manner, and there was very little communication or assistance from the representatives or pharmacists. She began to consider working with Heartland after meeting one of their friendly sales reps. From the beginning, Jessica found that Heartland exceeded her expectations. She was astounded by their prompt follow-up, refreshing transparency, and the timeliness of the medication deliveries. And in hospice, timeliness is key.
“Patient comfort is paramount and there is no room for delay,” she says. “Having a pharmacy partner that we can trust implicitly to back us up so we can focus on caring for the patient and family is invaluable. If we aren’t worried about getting our drugs on time, we can focus on the bigger issues of helping the patient and their family with emotional and spiritual issues that revolve around that time in their lives.”
The integral qualities necessary for a good partnership between a hospice community and their pharmacy include timeliness, availability and willingness of the pharmacy to answer questions or conduct research. The ability to form a relationship with staff and pharmacists can also play a role in how well the hospice staff can serve their residents. Additionally, according to Jessica, the personable staff at Heartland proved to be integral.
“With Heartland, I knew I could talk to our dedicated tech or the emergency line after hours and they would take it from there, doing whatever it took to get us the medications we needed, when we needed them,” says Jessica. “When the pharmacy is doing their job, we can focus on doing our job. Heartland was invested in the way we delivered care.”
Overall support is what made the difference for Jessica, and is the common thread with Heartland and all their partners. Heartland provides family-centered service with the utmost care and respect, translating to a partnership that can’t be replaced.
“I view Heartland as a part of the team that is just as invested in the patient goals and comfort as we are, rather than an outside vendor that is just providing a service,” she says. “In such a difficult and delicate chapter of life, that is crucial. Heartland was so supportive of our mission.”
Heartland is dedicated to serving long-term care and hospice communities in a manner that reflects the wishes of the resident and their individual goals for health and comfort. Additionally, Heartland Pharmacy is made up of dedicated team members who have experience and investment in their partners, creating meaningful and successful partnerships with long-term care and hospice communities.