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Thousands of people in Eastern North Carolina will soon have new support as they manage mental health issues and recover from substance use.
PORT Health, a non-profit behavioral healthcare organization, will begin operating its own pharmacy services later this month, eventually providing medication for patients at all 25 of its treatment centers throughout Eastern North Carolina.
PORT has previously worked with outside vendors to provide medications, but the new, in-house pharmacy services will improve patient care in two key ways. First, by dispensing prescribed medication directly, PORT’s professionals will be able to monitor patients much more closely to make sure they stick to their treatment plans.
“Adherence is one of the most important parts of overall treatment,” said Tom Savidge, CEO of PORT Health. “As patients progress with their treatment and feel better, they sometimes stop taking their medication and can decline quickly.”
An interruption in medication can have negative consequences for patients’ quality of life and their ability to function in the community, so PORT’s new capabilities will have a major impact on patient outcomes.
The second way PORT’s in-house pharmacy services will improve care is by helping patients avoid some of the logistical hurdles they face in getting their medication from third parties. Retail pharmacies may need more time and extra steps to navigate the regulations and protocols surrounding some specialized medications, which can discourage patients from following their treatment plans. PORT’s pharmacists will be experts in delivering treatment medications consistently, professionally and safely.
PORT’s new pharmacy in Greenville is set to open November 30th. The New Bern location will follow two weeks later. Those two locations will distribute medications to patients through all of PORT’s locations. PORT’s pharmacies will also be able to fill prescriptions patients may have for other conditions, allowing patients to get all their medications through a single source.
“We’re always looking for ways to provide better quality of care,” Savidge said. “Any time we can clear away more obstacles between patients and successful treatment, it’s going to have a positive impact.” PORT Health’s focus extends to their staff as well. PORT’s 300+ employees will also have access to the onsite service, enhancing their current health benefits package.