Rethinking the Pharmacy Workflow
At Biologics by McKesson, an individualized approach to patient management involves making a care plan that’s tailored to each patient’s circumstances. A care plan is a vital part of the nursing process and provides a centralized place to document the patient’s challenges, goals and progress as well as any education needed. We have found that patients on care plans experienced fewer adverse event-related therapy discontinuations; notably, high-risk patients had a 35% reduction in the rate of hospitalization.
While creating a detailed care plan is not always possible in a retail setting with a high patient volume, a pharmacist in any setting can still create a model that meets the patient where they are. Pharmacists shouldn’t miss an opportunity to get to know patients and understand their challenges — which is critical for developing a meaningful and effective plan of care that provides value for all stakeholders.
Putting the patient first might involve rethinking the pharmacy workflow to include an ability to counsel patients more broadly through tools such as risk-assessment questionnaires, checklists or conversation starters. Also, it could involve a retail pharmacy partnering with a specialty pharmacy and developing a collaborative relationship that simply starts with a pharmacist-to-pharmacist conversation.
Patient-centered care, however a pharmacy can best provide it, truly is key to improved patient adherence. Failure to take medication properly is likely the reason for up to two-thirds of hospital admissions in a year, most of which are unavoidable if patients have the clinical support they really need. Although adherence-related hospitalizations are expensive, they’re also avoidable, which is great news for both patients and payers alike. When pharmacists focus on patients, they make a difference across the healthcare continuum.