Elective Course on Medication Therapy Management Services

By Kuhn, Catherine; Powell, Patricia H. et al. | American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, April 2010 | Go to article overview

Elective Course on Medication Therapy Management Services


Kuhn, Catherine, Powell, Patricia H., Sterrett, James J., American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


INTRODUCTION

With the cost of medication-related morbidity and mortality totaling more than $177 billion, a tremendous need exists for identifying, addressing, and preventing medication-related problems. (1) Pharmacists as medication experts are well positioned to lead these efforts. Pharmacist-led medication therapy management (MTM) sessions have proven to be valuable, showing improvements in clinical, economic, and humanistic outcomes. (2-7)

Prior to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003, most pharmacies were not engaged in providing clinical patient care services. (8-10) The MMA required MTM programs to be a part of the Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans, which in turn led to a profession-wide consensus statement to define MTM as a distinct service or group of services, provided by a pharmacist or other qualified health care provider, that optimizes therapeutic outcomes for individual patients. (8,11-13) Since 2006, when the MMA was implemented, many pharmacists have embraced the opportunity to become involved in MTM (14); however, barriers exist for them to participate, including lack of understanding of the components of MTM services, and lack of availability and accessibility of MTM educational resources. (15)

With the increased opportunities for MTM, pharmacists and pharmacy students will require MTM-specific education. Continuing education and training programs, such as the American Pharmacists Association's Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services in the Community certificate training program, have been developed to assist with pharmacist education on MTM. According to the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) accreditation standards and the Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) outcomes, pharmacy education must prepare students to provide patient-centered care. (16,17) Pharmacy students should be able to design, implement, monitor, evaluate, and adjust pharmaceutical care plans that are patient specific. (17) In addition, ACPE requires instructors to incorporate teaching methods, such as the use of case studies, group discussions, and simulated or actual patients, that produce competent pharmacists and foster the development of critical-thinking and problem-based learning skills. (16) The elective course, Patient-Centered Approach to Medication Therapy Management, was developed to offer students an opportunity to learn more about MTM and to prepare them for patient interaction by incorporating many of the active-learning strategies suggested by ACPE.

No previous studies have been performed to identify whether student pharmacists have been prepared or feel prepared to offer MTM based on current pharmacy curriculum. This study was designed to: (1) evaluate the fulfillment of the course objectives; (2) determine whether face-to-face comprehensive medication reviews provided by student pharmacists would improve the students' class experience; (3) determine whether the students felt the elective course prepared them to participate in real-life MTM counseling sessions; and (4) determine whether participation in the course influenced the student's decision to participate in MTM in the future.

DESIGN

In 2009, the Patient-Centered Approach to Medication Therapy Management elective course was offered for the first time to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP), Charleston campus. The 2-credit elective course was designed to prepare students to counsel patients during the delivery of medication therapy management. The course required students to possess pharmacotherapy knowledge, therefore it was offered during the spring semester of their third year. By this point in the curriculum, the students were in their final semester of pharmacotherapy, having already completed 1 semester of self-care therapeutics, 5 semesters of a case-based course entitled Clinical Applications, and 2 semesters of pharmacotherapy. …

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