N.Y. Pharmacists Working with Nurses on Compliance

Article excerpt

More than 50 community pharmacists have been certified so far to participate in a program in which pharmacists work with a nursing organization, CareLine, to improve patient compliance.

Craig Burridge, executive director, Pharmaceutical Society of the State of New York, described this development as he reviewed highlights from PSSNY's recent annual meeting. At the meeting, he said, "we instituted our first certification program for CareLine. We call it the Certified CareLine Pharmacists program.

"CareLine is a phone-based intervention program to help patients be more compliant with their medication and treatment regimens," he explained. In essence, nurses at the organization get on the phone to remind enrolled patients to take their medications properly and according to schedule.

"If they have to take drugs six different times a day, they are called six times a day. If there's no one to answer, [the nurses] have someone check on them," he added.

The program targets those patients who are on the borderline between being able to take care of their health-care needs at home or needing the care of a nursing home.

"It's a small populationjust 4% to 8%-but they're using 50%-60% of health-care dollars," Burridge said. "We hope people can avoid paying $3,000-$4,000 a month [for a nursing home], when they can get this program for one year for less than $4,000. …