How to personalize value-based care at scale: the role of a tech-powered pharmacy function

The facts are clear: engaging patients in a personalized way leads to increased quality of care, better medication adherence, and lower costs. But physicians today are overworked. They see more patients than ever before – and as the size and scale of their practices continue to grow, they face an increasingly burdensome amount of documentation and charting, which makes it harder and harder to spend time getting to know patients.

But doctors don’t have to solve these challenges on their own. With a team approach and the right tools, they can collaborate to deliver personalized care to all their patients.

Here’s a look at three ways physicians can personalize care at scale by embracing a tech-powered pharmacy function.

1. Identify the patients most at risk for negative outcomes

Managing empanelment is difficult. There may be several thousand patients under your team’s care with a variety of different diagnoses – all with varying challenges. But the right technological tools can identify the patients most at risk for negative outcomes and streamline how you determine and deliver their care.

For example, your practice may be treating 20,000 Medicare patients that have one or more diagnoses for a variety of chronic conditions. A tech-powered pharmacist can help you identify which of those patients are most likely to benefit from a change to their medication regimen.

How? Tools like ingest data from Surescripts (which tracks length of treatment, medications, and even environmental factors), EHR data, and more; run analytics on that data; and offer key insights to guide treatment.

In addition to highlighting those who could most benefit from treatment, our AI function can also identify potential interactions among recommended treatments and drugs patients already take and flag those most at risk for medication mismanagement.

It can also help pharmacists identify when specific treatments aren’t working for individual patients and address those issues in a targeted way.

2. Communicate more information in fewer patient phone calls

Pharmacists can use the same tools that help them identify the highest-risk patients to more efficiently communicate with those patients about their care.

First, consider the status quo for many patients with multiple chronic conditions or who are on multiple medications: their care team may reach out with a reminder to schedule a follow-up appointment, check on medication management, refill prescriptions, and schedule consultations for accompanying treatments such as talk therapy.

But each of those calls may be made on a different day – and they might come in along with others from the members of your team treating your patient for other diseases, such as hypertension.

That’s a terrible patient experience.

For one thing, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually answer all those calls, so they might miss crucial information. For another, the patient doesn’t know what they don’t know. They may not think to ask how everything fits together and whether there are opportunities to cut costs.

Technology can help streamline this process and minimize error. Using RxLive’s AI, pharmacists can rely on clinical summaries and patient data to reconcile the information they need when they need it.

With these tools, pharmacists can also identify everything that needs to be communicated and address it all in one phone call, helping the patient understand how their prescriptions for various conditions work together, what their insurance covers, and what symptoms should trigger outreach to their provider.

What’s more: tech-powered pharmacists can, when possible, assist these patients virtually,  meeting for quick consults about possible interactions via RxLive’s telehealth platform, or simply refilling a prescription by a request sent through your networks’ integrated patient portal.

All this means fewer patients visiting hospitals – minimizing overcrowding, limiting possible complications from visiting the hospital such as infection, and letting clinicians spend more time treating the patients who most need in-person care.

3. Tap the power of fractional networks to minimize provider burnout

No matter how many innovations they have at their disposal, even the most efficient and tech-savvy providers burn out.

A fractional network of pharmacists can help.

That’s because when you add one pharmacist, you only reduce your organizational burden of care by the amount that an individual provider can handle – say eight or 10 consults per day. And though your panel of patients will continue to grow, an individual’s capacity has limits.

When you leverage RxLive’s network of tech-enabled pharmacists, you can lessen your team’s workload even as your practice or network continues to grow.

That means your team can complete 15 – or 150 – additional consults, helping one patient refill their prescriptions, autonomously prescribing prescriptions under statewide protocols for another, and counseling others on when it’s best to switch to biosimilars.

And then treat similar patients dozens of more times per week.

Automate your workflows to provide personalized care

Even before the provider shortage, physicians were overworked and looking for ways to more efficiently treat patients.

Reimagining the role of a tech-powered pharmacist can help recapture some of what was lost, bringing personalized care back into the everyday patient experience by teams with more knowledge, more efficient ways of organizing that knowledge, and more impactful ways of communicating what patients need to know.

Shared, actionable knowledge leads to better health outcomes. And better health means patients have more power to live the lives they want. Contact us to learn more about how RXL empowers providers and their patients.

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.