Symbria Rx Services Delivers Modern Long-Term Care

Automation For More TLC In LTC

Symbria Rx Services in Warrenville, Illinois, is a pharmacy serving long-term care, skilled nursing, and assisted living facilities in multiple states. They knew to be a leader in this challenging and growing market, they would need state-of-the-art technology. That’s why they turned to Parata.

Deliver Modern Long-Term Care

“Over 90 percent of our operation is automated,” estimates Derek Brown, Symbria’s director of operations.

Parata technology enables Symbria to keep patients well, streamline production, reduce errors, and empower pharmacists to engage in higher-level clinical support. By integrating technology throughout the operation, Symbria’s pharmacies package a high volume of medication while enjoying productivity gains and cultivating customer loyalty.

Handle Volume With Ease

Symbria’s three pharmacies dispense 70,000 scripts each month for 5,500 patients. That’s about 42,000 medication pouches each day. Derek and his team rely on three PASS 500 units for pouch packaging and a single Parata Perl with Transport for each day’s verification — which it handles with ease.

The benefits of automation extend beyond Symbria’s pharmacies. Medication management is important to Symbria’s clients because it’s vital to resident satisfaction and health. And academic research bears this out:

  • A study from Easton Hospital/Drexel University noted that adverse drug events harm 7 million people, lead to more than 1 million emergency room visits, and cost almost $21 million each year.
  • Researchers at University of Wollongong found that nurses in skilled nursing facilities spent a fifth of their day in medication-related activities.

Symbria is commited to helping LTC facilities mitigate medication errors, improve medication management and compliance, and improve resident satisfaction. And doing it all at scale and on schedule.

Strip packaging – produced with Parata technology – supports medication adherence and management in all settings and produces valuable process improvements. In fact, a Symbria research summary confirms that strip packaging is more efficient and less time-intensive for med pass. Pouches:

  • Save 44 seconds per patient
  • Reduce med passes 6 minutes per 15 residents
  • Equal more than 36 hours or one nurse week a year
pharmacist with clipboard

The result? Freeing nursing staff to focus on “should do” activities related to real patient care — tasks that propel patient outcomes and drive staff satisfaction. These enhancements also improve resident satisfaction and community marketability for the facility.

As you might expect, these upsides drive customer loyalty for Symbria, too.

“Executive directors and administrators overseeing a campus certainly appreciate knowing we can provide medication and compliance packaging to three or four different levels of care,” Derek says.

Get A Partner In Your Success

Symbria’s decision to go with Parata went beyond solutions.

“We ended up working with Parata because we were looking for a partner who could offer us the entire product suite,” Derek says. “I knew Parata could also provide us with customization or enhancement requests.”

For example: variable cycle lengths. “The system makes it easy to produce packages for 28-, 14-, 7- or 1-day cycles, which helps our customers meet their regulatory demands,” he explains. “And the flexibility offers me the ability to handle multiple levels of care and administration models at the same community.”

Pharmacist and Technician Consult PASS 500

For example: variable cycle lengths. “The system makes it easy to produce packages for 28-, 14-, 7- or 1-day cycles, which helps our customers meet their regulatory demands,” he explains. “And the flexibility offers me the ability to handle multiple levels of care and administration models at the same community.”

Derek also appreciates how Parata systems improve productivity and accuracy. “Parata technology has reduced the amount of time on routine but important tasks. Safe Loader reduces our error rate while Perl saves us time on pouch verification.”

Symbria technician using Safe Loader

Like clients’ nursing staffs, Symbria’s highly-trained staff now has more time for more valuable high-touch activities requiring their expertise and knowledge.

“They’re our highest-paid employees, so any reduction in the time they spend is a win,” Derek adds. “It gives them more time to do the things they went to school for, like assisting communities and making clinical decisions.”

Parata’s solutions also fuel the company’s growth strategy. “We’re anticipating some new growth in the near future and want to get ahead of it,” Derek says. “So we’re adding another PASS to the line.” The fourth unit will “alleviate some pressure on current operations and have redundancy in case there’s an issue with another machine.” Although that’s unlikely. Symbria experienced just one issue in 3 years, and Parata’s service team had them running again quickly.

Parata’s responsiveness is just part of its commitment to treating customers as partners. Parata provides technical and strategic support to help customers run a more efficient and effective business. And because they know the long-term care market so well, Parata is positioned with the technology and know-how to support pharmacies in this vertical and help them grow.

“If you have a vendor who doesn’t know your business, they don’t appreciate why you come to them for enhancements, your deadlines, etc.,” Derek asserts. “There’s a clear and open line of communication and collaboration makes for a better long-term partnership. Our reps David and Heather provide good advice when we ask for it. And they listen when we give them feedback. That’s a huge benefit to us.”

First Published 2018

Discover the solutions empowering Symbria Rx Service and learn how Parata can help your pharmacy.

Symbria pharmacist reviews strip packaging

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