How and why to develop a value-based pharmacy strategy for your practice

Whether you’re a physician on the frontline seeing patients every day, or managing a network of overworked clinicians as Chief Medical Officer or Chief Pharmacy Officer – you understand the burden of burnout. But no matter your position, translating mountains of EHR data into personalized healthcare is a daunting task.

And the stakes are high. When you – or anyone on your team or in your networks – first meets with a new patient, you can’t risk missing the adverse reaction they could have to Entresto after first being prescribed Lisinopril for hypertension 10 years ago.

At the same time, healthcare teams and their leadership need to establish best practices that minimize adverse outcomes of all kinds – from medication interactions to heart failure – for all their patients.

Pharmacists can help lessen this burden, supporting the concurrent priorities of personalized and population-level care, and strengthening the relationships physicians have with their patients. How? By supporting your practice through a value-based pharmacy strategy.

Here are five steps you can take to develop such a strategy.

Step 1: Get data needed to drive better outcomes

Having the right data helps you make the right clinical decisions at the right time. And better decisions lead to better outcomes.

But mining data and translating it into those outcomes is complex, time-consuming work that’s impossible to scale manually. Software can help, of course, but how do you choose which platform to use?

We’re making the case to start with a platform that lets you leverage the expertise of pharmacists to provide additional care for your patients.

My.RxLive, for example, an application custom designed for the clinical pharmacist role, imports patient data from EHRs and merges it with third-party data sources such as SureScripts, CareQuality, and CommonWell.

Then, by using RxLive.AI’s algorithms to sort that data with deterministics you choose, your pharmacy team can identify patients who need the most help and deliver that help before patients have a medical emergency, like heart failure.

Crucial to the functionality here is that the pharmacists you partner with help you deliver preventative care. We’ll address that more in a bit.

Step 2: Identify the patients with the greatest need – and how best to treat them

Identifying at-risk patients is important – but not all risk is created equal. In a world of limited resources, you have to prioritize both who you talk to as well as your practice’s areas of focus.

Tech-enabled pharmacists can help you determine which factors present the greatest risk, and identify the patients who most need intervention, such as those experiencing common symptoms of AFib.

Then your team can develop the most effective plans of care for each patient – and deliver them to support your practice’s overall focus areas.

RxLive.AI tracks and sorts patient data based on criteria you select – whether it’s pharmacy risk (patients on eight medications or more, for example) or clinical rules (like those with symptoms of AFib) – to determine a target population. Then, it empanels those patients with the members of your team who can provide the most help.

Once you build a panel of patients with the overall highest risk of heart failure, you can further refine that list, ranking them from riskiest to least risky, and start scheduling outreach.

Your care team’s pharmacist can prioritize a conversation with those with the highest pharmacy risk – taking the administrative work of medication management off your plate – and everyone in the risk group can be contacted to schedule an office appointment.

Step 3: Clearly communicate with patients about their care

Clearly communicating with patients about their care gives patients the knowledge they need to make choices that lead to better health. No matter how much time you spend with your patients during their visits, though, you likely don’t have the bandwidth to monitor their medication adherence.

When you use a value-based pharmacy strategy, pharmacists embedded in your team can talk to patients about their medications and provide continuity of care between appointments.

In fact, patients who have one-on-one interactions with pharmacists are more likely to take their medications. And proper medication management is key to avoiding hospitalization.

With My.RxLive’s data and interventions integrated into your team’s workflow, it’s easier and more efficient to provide personalized care mapped to your patients’ individual needs. This means more timely interventions for the patients who need them most.

And whether you continue to provide that care with the team you have, or want to build on your team’s successes using the assistance of RxLive’s fractional network of tech-enabled pharmacists, RxLive’s telehealth and AI tools integrate easily into your existing workflows.

That means your team spends more time with patients while providing a more frictionless and personalized patient experience.

Step 4: Use technology to document conversations and distribute knowledge

A care team is only as powerful as its ability to share knowledge, both about individual patient conditions and evolving best practices for the various conditions those patients have.

RxLive helps with both. The pharmacists in our network stay up to date on the key treatment protocols and apply these as needed in patient care. What’s more: our tools are easily deployed to lift up teams already achieving patient-centered success.

Whether you’re looking toward how additional pharmacists can add value to your team, or want to lessen the burden for the pharmacists and providers who already provide your patients’ care, RxLive can help. Our system sends protocol updates to your practice, streamlining how you stay up to date with current standards of care. Those updates don’t just offer general information – they also contain details specific to each of your patients, including…

  • Stats on medication adherence.
  • Possible drug interactions.
  • Comorbidities.

That makes it easier for you to provide personalized care informed by the latest research during each office visit, whether a patient comes in to see you every couple of months or every few years.

Step 5: Review macro analytics to track the health of your practice

We’ve shown you how the right tools help pharmacists support you in delivering value-based care and help you stay up to date with current standards of care.

They can also help you better understand the health of your practice.

Did one patient’s plan of care improve their medication adherence? Did your plans of care reduce the hospitalization rate for your patients overall?

RxLive tracks KPIs to let you see where you’re succeeding and where you’re falling short of benchmarks for…

Having this information at hand lets you be confident that your plans of care are the right ones –  for each individual patient as well as your whole practice.

The right pharmacy strategy keeps physicians’ focus on their patients

Some healthcare organizations know they’re great at reaching the right patient at the right time. Others are confident they continually provide the most current standards of care. But successful practices and networks know, too, the devil is in the details.

Value-based care means achieving the best outcomes across all areas of your practice or network. A value-based pharmacy strategy lets you spend less time worrying about administrative details and more time focusing on the details of your patients’ care.Contact us to learn more about how RXL can help keep patients, practices, and networks in good health.

Kristen Engelen, PharmD
Kristen Engelen, PharmD, is the chief pharmacy officer of RxLive and a certified consultant pharmacist; she has over a decade of experience in retail pharmacy settings. Kristen became an RxLive co-founder because of her passion for geriatric pharmacy, with a focus on the intersection of pharmacy and aging.