What Needs to Be Done? Experts Weigh In
In order for retail pharmacies to be fully integrated into the value-based care continuum, there must be greater momentum among regulators and technology companies to achieve true interoperability of systems, including giving pharmacists access to patients’ EHRs.
“More patient information needs to be automatically shared with pharmacists in a standardized format, using interoperable vocabularies like SNOMED, LOINC, RxNorm, and others that can help these healthcare professionals better understand patient conditions and make crucial medication decisions with greater context,” Bizzaro says. “Too often, retail pharmacists are left out of care transition discussions as patients are discharged from hospitals and into long-term care facilities or back to their primary care physicians.”
Involving pharmacists and speaking the same language through standardized, codified information would strengthen care continuity, prevent avoidable readmissions or adverse health events, and ultimately improve outcomes, which benefits all stakeholders.
Hallan believes the move away from dispensing and the technical aspects of operations will continue and maybe in 10 to 20 years would completely defragment itself from it.
“The new responsibilities will focus on the patient care, outcome-oriented care plans, and working closely with the patients to help them accomplish these goals to lower healthcare costs quality of life,” he says. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning would be a key player in in this entire prediction as well. As it becomes more integrated within the healthcare system, its impact may be significant. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, pharmacy is going to become a high touch health profession.”