Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Share Insights into Pharmacy Best Practices

Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Share Insights into Pharmacy Best Practices

Article excerpt

Attendees at the recent annual meeting of the American Pharmacists Association in San Diego didn't have to look far to find pearls of wisdom about pharmacy best practices. An entire session offered nuggets of advice about expanding medication therapy management (MTM) as the pharmacy industry evolves in the 21st century.

PCMH opportunities

A federally funded pilot program in Arkansas for approximately 70 clinics statewide offers insight into opportunities and obstacles in the patientcentered medical home model, said Jeremy Thomas, PharmD, CDE, assistant professor at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

With the goal of providing care management to at least 80% of its highest-risk patients, the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative has integrated pharmacists into its program. Pharmacists are involved in patient care either directly or through chart reviews and recommendations, he said.

A major challenge is that clinics don't understand the potential value of pharmacists in terms of MTM services. "They're scared to death of reform in terms of payment, and they had no idea what pharmacists could offer patients in their clinic,'' he said.

The solution was to identify target populations and define patient-care services that correspond with performance measures and clinical quality indicators, Thomas said.

Pharmacists on site

Pharmacists practicing in a clinic setting as part of the healthcare team can make a difference in the patient-centered medical home model, according to Jaini Patel, BCACP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy. Patel works at a clinic, where she often meets for 45 to 60 minutes with individual patients as part of an MTM program.

"I've spent as long as 90 minutes with a patient, since there was so much to discover and tackle," Patel said. These meetings "are so crucial to develop relationships with the patients and caregivers. The patient walks out knowing what the plan is."

A team that includes a physician and a pharmacist sees selected patients, she said. "The biggest advantage is everyone starts on the same page in terms of patients' barriers, how they're taking their medications, and what our goals and plan should be going forward. …

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