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02/25/2022

Medication safety: Tabula Rasa HealthCare provides solutions to combat medication overload

Drug Store News spoke with CEO and co-founder Calvin H. Knowlton about what the medication risk mitigation company is doing in this area.

Rising healthcare costs and a growing elderly population could have significant implications for adverse drug events, which occur when an individual is harmed by medication.

Tabula Rasa HealthCare, the first national medication risk mitigation company, is on the front line providing medication safety solutions to combat overload adverse drug events. Drug Store News recently spoke with Calvin H. Knowlton, CEO and co-founder of Tabula Rasa HealthCare, about what the company is doing in this area.

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calvin knowlton
Calvin H. Knowlton, CEO and co-founder, Tabula Rasa HealthCare

Drug Store News: Can you briefly tell us what adverse drug events are?
Calvin H. Knowlton: Adverse drug events, or ADEs, are a leading cause of death in the United States — among the ranks of heart disease and cancer — and occur when an individual is harmed by medication, even when that medication is used appropriately. They are responsible for around 1.3 million emergency department visits a year, and roughly 350,000 individuals require hospitalization for additional treatment.

We have found ADEs to be most prevalent when there is no single source of truth to provide oversight and help mitigate health risks associated with normal multiple-medication use. With over 6 billion prescriptions dispensed in 2020, technologies to support pharmacists with risk mitigation and patient intervention, at scale, are critical.

DSN: What are the implications for patient health?
CHK: With the rise of chronic conditions, and prevalence of outdated 1-to-1 drug interaction methods, the risk of ADEs only grows. Who is left to pay the price? Our healthcare system, and most of all, the patients we serve and care for the most. Facing this challenge head on, advanced tools like MedWise Science and the MedWise Risk Score equip front-line pharmacists with unmatched clinical insight to deliver impactful care to patients.  

Research has proven the MedWise Risk Score effective in identifying patients whose medication regimens put them at greater risk for negative outcomes. For high-risk patients, pharmacists can pinpoint medication-related problems and recommend measures that reduce risk through pharmacist-led consultations, which leverage MedWise Science.

DSN: How would your MedWise Science technology help?  
CHK: MedWise Science is the heart of our medication optimization offerings. This software identifies potential multidrug interactions in aggregate to help clinicians manage polypharmacy patients, reduce trial-and-error prescribing and ensure patient safety.

Tabula Rasa HealthCare’s medication decision support tools, such as the MedWise Risk Score and MedWise Matrix, enable pharmacists to deliver point-of-care support on key patient health issues like pain management, prevention of ADEs and more. The pharmacists’ interventions have been documented to improve outcomes, including reducing annual medical spend, enhancing quality-of-life parameters and preventing premature death.

DSN: Can you explain how this technology would help pharmacists?
CHK: Research has proven that MedWise Risk Scores can help pharmacists successfully identify patients whose medications — when used together — put them at greater risk for negative outcomes, including ADEs, falls, higher medical expenditure, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and death.

We have found these pharmacist-led interventions to result in better patient outcomes and more meaningful relationships with patients through personalized care. Pharmacists and other healthcare providers working with Tabula Rasa HealthCare clinical pharmacists can use these technologies to effectively pinpoint risk, identify medication-related problems and make recommendations that advance outcomes, strengthen patient engagement and, ultimately, save lives.

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