News
Flex Program Request
by Shruti Patel, Pharm. D.
 
Ensure proper disposition of controlled substances is an essential function of the consultant pharmacist. In California, this is done with a registered pharmacist and a registered nurse with proper documentation of name, strength, and number of doses being disposed. Complex records are maintained by the medical records department to ensure proper compliance. With the COVID-19 outbreak many pharmacists are being requested to stay out of the facility. Many traditional tasks such as chart review maybe done off site with EHR review. If a facility has decided not to have a consultant pharmacist visit for medication disposition or secure storage space for the controlled substances is limited, the facility can request program flexibility by using form CDPH 5000-A (3/2020).
The facility must define how drug destruction can be done with consultant pharmacist being present virtually. California Department of Health will respond with a waiver. Medical directors, directors of nursing and consultant pharmacists should be aware of the response and expectations before proceeding with disposition.
 
COVID-19: CALTCM Updates

by Flora Bessey, Pharm.D., BCGP

In preparing and responding to the COVID-19 crisis, CALTCM has been conducting and continues to schedule a series of webinars discussing various aspects of this situation. The link to the previous webinars can be found on our website (links provided below). Please mark your calendar for every Monday at 4PM PDT to take part in the webinars “live.”

In addition, CALTCM has been working with state legislators to reconsider the all-facilities letter that was recently promulgated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) delineating that SNF’s must accept (or readmit) patients that are positive for COVID-19, click here to view CDPH ALF 20-32. The resolution that is being considered (in partnership with California State Senator Stern) would enable a more nuanced approach to this mandate, and would take into account several factors that would be facility-specific, including but not limited to: ability to isolate these patients; access to appropriate personal protective equipment(PPE); staffing concerns. 

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A Garden of Love Grows in a Grandmother's Heart
Introduction by Patricia Latham Bach, PsyD, RN
In the midst of fires, power outages and general trauma throughout California, we're pausing to reflect on a heartwarming story and moment of grace captured by Huffington Post journalist Brittany Wong and photographers Marie Kamp and Misty McLendon earlier this year. (Huffington Post, August 19, 2019). 

In "Her Grandma Couldn't Fly To Her Wedding, So This Bride Did The Next Best Thing" Wong highlights the challenges faced by LTC residents unable to travel and/or participate in special family events and creates a deeply touching example of how one family utilized creative problem solving to share a very special day in the life of a grandmother and granddaughter.
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Sweet Words of Wisdom on Longevity and Happiness

From CBS Sunday morning 10-13-2019 

Successful aging stories abound, but this one takes the cake.

Mr. Ray Boutwell, age 93
Mr. Ray Boutwell, age 93
Presented by Steve Hartman on CBS Sunday Morning (CBS 10-13-2019), this short story will capture the heart of every viewer who has ever enjoyed a cupcake, set professional goals and enjoyed a special moment with a life seeking senior. In short, all of us in long term care.

This video will make your day. Take a quick break to enjoy these sweet words of wisdom and let us know what you think!

The video can be viewed at https://www.cbsnews.com/video/ending-retirement-with-cupcakes/

 
Pearls from the UCLA Intensive Course in Geriatrics and Pharmacy 2019
by Dan Osterweil, MD, FACP, CMD

Drs. Wasserman and Osterweil were on the faculty of this renowned course that brings more than 300 physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to Los Angeles. This annual event brings the best of Geriatrics to four intensive days. 

In the photo, Dr. Wasserman, CALTCM President, is sharing his experience in the business of geriatric medicine, while also showing the image of his father, who is the national Albert Einstein impersonator. Dr. Osterweil, co-director of the UCLA course and CALTCM CEO, led a workshop in advance care planning featuring Drs. Bruce Ferrell, Neil Wenger and Rebecca Yamarik, all experts in Palliative Care and Hospice. This interactive workshop highlighted the importance of having the discussions about goals and preferences of elders. All speakers agreed that clinicians should make recommendations consistent with the patient’s prognosis and personal goals. The consensus was that asking patients whether they should be resuscitated is almost always inappropriate. The patient is an expert on their own goals and preferences, and the clinician is an expert in medicine who should not shy away from making recommendations based on that. A session on opportunities for practice improvement and another on care transitions were led by Dr. Osterweil on other days of the course.
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