The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) have released a report on best practices from their collaborative Medication Management in Care Transitions (MMCT) project.
The report summarizes how current care models and programs are improving patient outcomes by involving pharmacists in medication-related transitions of care.
“These best practices provide a powerful illustration of the impact that pharmacists can make as part of interprofessional health care teams,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, FASHP. “Pharmacists’ leadership is integral to improving patient care throughout the entire medication-use process and all care settings. Transitions of care have been identified as critical points that can positively – or negatively – impact patient care outcomes. The programs highlighted in this report demonstrate how to improve medication adherence and reduce adverse drug events and hospital readmissions.”
More than 80 institutions from across the country responded to the profession-wide call from ASHP and APhA with MMCT models by the January 2012 deadline. Based on a two-step evaluation process by top experts skilled in working with these types of programs, the following eight programs were distinguished as best practices: Einstein Healthcare Network, Froedtert Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mission Hospitals, Sharp HealthCare, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics.
“The eight programs identified in this report should be applauded for their ingenuity and successful use of resources in developing and implementing pharmacist-integrated care transitions programs,” said APhA executive vice president and CEO, Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA. “Pharmacists are proficient at educating patients to use medications correctly and empowering them to report problems before simple outpatient therapy turns into complex inpatient care. As these programs have demonstrated, fully-integrated, comprehensive pharmacy services can cost-effectively optimize patient outcomes.”
The programs highlighted how collaboration and communication between all providers on the healthcare team-both inpatient and outpatient-are critical to effective care transitions.
The associations acknowledged that more work needs to be done in developing effective programs for the various healthcare settings, but what was learned from these eight programs provides valuable insight into how pharmacists can be involved in the process going forward.