The two-year initiative begins April 1 and is focused on increasing communication between community pharmacists and physicians to help improve patient care and medication adherence. UNMC approached Kearney Clinic because of its innovative approach to care with electronic medical record technology and a patient-centered medical home model. Typically, patients are seen once every six months. To help gain a better understanding of what happens after seeing a doctor or being prescribed medication, the pilot will track select patients’ activity and progress. Potential candidates for the program are currently being enrolled.
Walgreens pharmacists will fill participants’ prescriptions, and provide a comprehensive medication review to address any patient questions or concerns, identify possible interactions and help improve adherence. In addition, pharmacists will offer free blood pressure testing each time medications are picked up, tracking results for each patient. If refills are late or never picked up, that information will be shared with the clinic for follow-up by a physician. The project will utilize the Nebraska Health Information Initiative, a statewide bilateral information sharing portal, which will allow physicians and community pharmacists to safely and easily share data across clinical settings.
“This collaboration takes the clinical and practical relationship to a whole new level by helping to create a key communication stream,” said Dr. Donald Klepser, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at UNMC and the study’s primary investigator.
“It’s a more economical utilization of health care resources – and takes better advantage of a pharmacist’s expertise.”
“Community pharmacists are well-positioned to support hypertension and type-2 diabetes patients in managing their disease, and addressing the variety of issues they may face each day,” said Kristi Rudkin, Walgreens senior director of product development and innovation. “By working together on this coordinated health care program, we can explore and analyze this data to understand fully how we can work together to improve overall patient adherence to medications and clinical outcomes.”
The NACDS Foundation awarded UNMC a $369,000 grant to study the potential impact on patient health by incorporating community pharmacy-provided medication management strategies into existing patient-centered care teams, such as medical homes and accountable care organizations (ACOs).
“It’s research like this that will inform and shape how we practice,” said Dr. Ken Shaffer, pediatrician at Kearney Clinic. “We hope this exciting project will further improve the health and outcomes of our patients.”
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