Pharmacists key to collaborative care model


It's getting progressively easier for pharmacy to prove its worth.

Case studies demonstrating the value of collaborative care health programs involving pharmacists keep pouring into the nation’s medical record. Among the latest is a slew of initiatives from around the United States aimed at improving patients’ blood pressure scores and other health measurements.

A health improvement advocacy group called the Community Preventive Services Task Force took a hard look at no fewer than 77 of those initiatives in a major study of the value of collaborative care health delivery models. What emerged from that study, clear as crystal, was the value pharmacists bring to integrated healthcare teams.

"When pharmacists were added to teams, the median improvement in the proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure was considerably higher than the overall median increase for this outcome," the task force concluded.

The projects were based on "team-based care organized primarily with nurses and pharmacists working in collaboration with primary care providers, patients and other professionals," according to the group. Pharmacists were key to successful efforts to lower patients' blood pressure, both by helping them "understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed" via medication therapy management, and by "helping patients adhere to their medication regimen can help patients improve their health, as well as reduce healthcare costs" the task force reported.

Are these kinds of collaborative health initiatives taking root in your community, or within your own pharmacy? What kind of impact are you seeing? As always, please let us know.

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