Providing Support for Long-Acting Injectable Treatments
When a consumer who had recently been discharged from the hospital came into their Genoa pharmacy to receive a long-acting injectable (LAI) treatment for the first time, Genoa Pharmacist Thomas Albert took time to help them feel more comfortable.
The consumer was nervous and wanted to talk through some of their questions. Albert talked with them about the challenges they were experiencing and walked them through what to expect from the treatment. The consumer became more comfortable, eventually moving forward with the injection and booking their next appointment.
“Like any new situation that people encounter, they may not know what to expect. After you work with them and they see that it’s not a difficult process, not only are they more comfortable, but it also goes much smoother,” Albert said. “It’s about listening to the consumer, which is so much of what we do. But also, giving those words of comfort that can take away some of the anxiety.”
LAI Treatments Can Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates
For many consumers with complex, chronic conditions, LAI treatments are a more practical option than oral medication because their effects last over an extended period of time.
In a recent study published in the Annals of General Psychiatry, LAI treatment reduced the hospital readmission rate of schizophrenia patients studied by 29% when compared with oral medication and reduced the readmission rate by 58% for patients who had experienced repeated admissions in the past.
“A missed pill or a break in medication can be really dangerous for many people living with complex, chronic conditions,” said Amr Elebiary, regional vice president of operations at Genoa Healthcare. “LAIs can be a great tool in helping them follow their treatment plans.”
Most Genoa pharmacies are located on site at community mental health centers, which makes it easy for pharmacists to answer consumer questions about treatment and work closely with prescribers to improve health outcomes.
Genoa pharmacist Tara Green says she’s built a positive relationship with many of the consumers who come in for their LAI treatments, something that’s helped them feel comfortable and stay on track with their medications.
Having previously experienced a negative injection process with another provider, one consumer expressed nervousness when it was recommended that she start receiving the treatment again.
Green built a trusting relationship with the consumer, getting to know her on a personal level and talking with her about her interests to get her mind off the injection.
“I learned that she was a writer, so I would read her articles during my month between seeing her — that way, we could have something to talk about the next time she came in,” Green said. “Eventually, she became comfortable enough to come in on her own, without someone else with her. It’s gotten much, much better than it ever was.”
Green said she’s built a positive relationship with many of the consumers who come in for their LAI treatments, something that’s helped them feel comfortable and stay on track with their medications.
Administration of LAI treatment requires reliable communication between the provider and the pharmacy administering the treatment. Genoa’s on-site pharmacies specialize in this care and can coordinate with partners and consumers.
“Because our pharmacists are on site, we work closely with providers to understand the barriers and needs of our consumers. We collaborate with the care team and can help with LAI administration or consultation when that treatment option is available and beneficial for the consumer,” Elebiary said.
For pharmacist Mostafa Saleh and his team in Oregon, administering LAIs has been a benefit not only to their consumers, but to their partners as well.
“When the nurse who typically does the injections left our partner clinic, our partners turned to us to help out while they navigated those staffing changes,” Saleh said. “We’re able to save them time and resources, and they can count on us to work with the consumer and ensure their injections don’t go past due. At the same time, we’re flexible with consumers’ schedules and we help them feel that they are always welcome here.”