PharmScript Offers Tips on How to Beat the Flu in Long-Term Care Communities

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Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are at higher risk for influenza-related medical complications. With flu season upon us, PharmScript http://www.pharmscript.com offers a reminder on guidelines and proper protocol for vaccination.

PharmScript

PharmScript

In the U.S., influenza outbreaks typically occur from fall through winter months. Although infection rates are highest among children, complications, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the flu occur most among adults 65 and older and adults aged 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the primary option for reducing the effect of influenza is immune-prophylaxis with vaccine. Vaccinating high-risk individuals before influenza virus circulation increases is the most effective way of doing this.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (APIC) recommends providers begin vaccinations as soon as they obtain the vaccine, or at least by October, and continue providing them to newly admitted individuals throughout the flu season, since influenza activity may not peak in some communities until February or March. The majority of adults will have antibody protection within two weeks after vaccination.

Because residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are at higher risk for medical complications, they and the staff who care for them are recommended to receive the annual influenza vaccination.

To help long-term care communities conduct effective flu immunization programs, PharmScript advises staff to review the following CMS established requirements to minimize residents’ risk of acquiring, transmitting, or experiencing complications:

  • Physician approved policies for influenza vaccine orders (F386 Physician Visits states that influenza vaccine may be administered based on physician-approved policy after assessment for contraindications);
  • Identification of each resident’s immunization status, including assessment for potential medical contraindications and record of recent vaccination
  • A vaccination schedule including mechanisms for recording and monitoring for administration;
  • How pertinent information will be provided to residents
  • Each resident or the residents’ legal representative receives education regarding benefits and potential side effects of immunization;

-Influenza immunization is offered October 1 through March 31 annually, unless the immunization is medically contraindicated or the resident has already been immunized during the time period
-The resident or the residents’ legal representative has the opportunity to refuse immunization; and
-The resident’s medical record includes documentation that indicates that the required education was provided and the resident either received the influenza immunization or did not receive it due to medical contraindications or refusal.

To read more helpful tips on how to maximize the pharmacy experience, visit PharmScript’s learning center at http://www.pharmscript.com/learning.html.

About PharmScript:
The unique principles upon which PharmScript was founded were based on years of invaluable experience in the long-term care industry. Comprised of a reputable and experienced management team, PharmScript is geared toward providing the ultimate pharmacy experience utilizing cutting-edge technology, impeccable customer service, and assisting facilities in saving on pharmacy costs. Pharmscript currently services New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington DC, Maryland, Florida and Texas.

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Saul Greenberger
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