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KEARNEY, Neb. — In collaboration with Walgreens, the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Wednesday unveiled a new treatment model to help positively impact clinical outcomes for hypertension and Type 2 diabetes patients through a program made possible by a National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation grant.
“This collaboration takes the clinical and practical relationship to a whole new level by helping to create a key communication stream,” stated Donald Klepser, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at UNMC, and the study’s primary investigator. “It’s a more economical utilization of healthcare resources — and takes better advantage of a pharmacist’s expertise.”
UNMC approached Kearney Clinic because of its innovative approach to care with electronic medical record technology and a patient-centered medical home model. Typically, patients are seen once every six months. To help gain a better understanding of what happens after seeing a doctor or being prescribed medication, the pilot will track select patients’ activity and progress. “It’s research like this that will inform and shape how we practice,” commented Ken Shaffer, pediatrician at Kearney Clinic.
Walgreens pharmacists will fill participants’ prescriptions, and provide a comprehensive medication review to address any patient questions or concerns, identify possible interactions and help improve adherence. In addition, pharmacists will offer free blood pressure testing each time medications are picked up, tracking results for each patient. If refills are late or never picked up, that information will be shared with the clinic for follow-up by a physician. The project will utilize the Nebraska Health Information Initiative, a statewide bilateral information sharing portal, which will allow physicians and community pharmacists to safely and easily share data across clinical settings.
The two-year initiative begins April 1 and is focused on increasing communication between community pharmacists and physicians to help improve patient care and medication adherence. Potential candidates for the program are currently being enrolled.
Walgreens is working with UNMC, Kearney Clinic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and Nebraska Health Information Initiative, Nebraska’s statewide health information exchange, on introducing the program.
The NACDS Foundation awarded UNMC a $369,000 grant to study the potential impact on patient health by incorporating community pharmacy-provided medication management strategies into existing patient-centered care teams, such as medical homes and accountable care organizations.