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PharmScript Offers Insight on Updates to F309 – Quality of Care
Date:8/30/2013

Edison, NJ (PRWEB) August 30, 2013

PharmScript reminds long-term care facilities that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented new F309 Quality of Care Guidance to surveyors for determining nursing facility compliance with end of life care requirements.

New guidelines specify that medical treatments should be assessed by the health care team, weighing potential benefits against potential burdens or risks for residents. The consultant pharmacist is an important resource in these efforts and in documenting medication-related decisions.

Palliative care as an option provides individualized comfort measures, even if the resident does not choose the involvement of hospice. According to CMS, decisions about diagnostic tests, medical procedures, and medication use should include consideration of the individual’s prognosis, choices, personal values, desired level of comfort, and dignity.

The consultant pharmacist brings valuable knowledge to the discussion to ensure that medication use is consistent with the goals of comfort, symptom control, and supporting the level of alertness desired by the individual.

"Symptom relief is a key component in assuring comfort and supporting death with dignity," said Saul Greenberger, founder of East Coast-based long-term care pharmacy PharmScript. "Pharmacy's expertise is beneficial as adjustments are made to attain desired pain relief while managing an individual’s side effects."

The new F309 guidance also includes the following recommended ABCDE Mnemonic for use in meeting an individual’s needs at the end of life:

A.    Ask about and screen for pain and other symptoms related to the resident’s end of life status on admission and periodically thereafter. Assess regularly for symptoms and their impact on the resident.

B.    Believe the resident’s
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