Driving Outcomes ics With That of Other Medical Settings for 3 Common Illnesses” at www.annals.org/content/151/5/321.full .pdf), and quality of care is similar to the care provided in physician offices and urgent-care centers. Further, retail pharmacy-based clinics have proven to be a significantly lower-cost option to augment or enhance care coordination and care delivery (see “Retail & Walk-In Healthcare: Comparing Costs” at www.healthharbor.com/saving-onretail-healthcare/retail-healthcomparing-costs). The ubiquity of the community pharmacy means that the majority of U.S. citizens are within a short walk of or quick drive to their closest pharmacy. This makes the pharmacy an attractive, convenient location for primary care in collaboration with local physicians.
Providing pharmacists a full view of a patient’s community record is critical to the success of the expanded practice. Having a more complete picture of a patient’s care will expand the pharmacist’s insight into the patient’s health status. This will enhance the pharmacist’s patient education efforts and better equip pharmacies for providing immediate care within the retail environment. To reach this level, pharmacists should seek cloud-based solutions developed by business partners who are experts in pharmacy workflow and health information exchange. These solutions will allow interoperability and information sharing between systems for pharmacy management, medication therapy management, and clinical management, and provide pharmacists a more visible role in the care community without the need for developing direct
As healthcare becomes more acutely focused on quality, retail pharmacies are uniquely positioned to drive positive outcomes. For example, medications are involved in more than 80% of all patient treatment plans, according to a report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (see “Integrating Comprehensive Medication Management to Optimize Patient Outcomes” at www.pcpcc.net/files/ medmanagement.pdf), and the pharmacist’s deep understanding of medication therapy positions the pharmacist as the expert on medication therapy outcomes. And an April 2009 New England Rx-Net tm Journal of Medicine article (see www.nejm.org/ Can Help doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0803563) points out that nonadherence to medications is responsible for 33% to 69% of medication-related hospital readmission, suggesting that deep pharmacist involvement in post-discharge medication therapy management may help reduce readmissions. Combine these dynamics with industry evolution toward accountable care, the patient-centered medical home, and the need for medication therapy management, and many pharmacies are moving toward an expanded clinical practice.
Expanding Pharmacy Practice As pharmacies seek to develop or expand their clinical practice — for example, providing more in-depth medication counseling relative to the dispensing of a medication with an FDA-mandated REMS, or adding immediate-care clinics to their facilities — they are exploring ways to document the clinical encounter and collaborate with other care providers across the community.
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