Issue 3: The Collaborative Practice®

Celebrating AmCare clinical pharmacy innovations and pharmacists across the country

As RxLive starts the new year, we remain focused on streamlining how clinical pharmacy teams can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their transitions of care programs.

One answer: using pharmacy data to predict not just who will be readmitted but which of these high risk cases are actually pharmacist impactable.

The next step? Using patient data to develop evidence-based recommendations for medication management throughout transitions of care. Then using telehealth to efficiently engage patients and providers about the medication regimens that support long-term health.
If you’d like to chat more about the educational power of pharmacists – or share your experiences of med rec success – please be in touch.

All the the best –
The team @ RxLive

Question for the Pharmacists

Each month we will post a clinical pharmacy practice-related question. The results will be listed in next month’s edition of The Collaborative Practice. Please share your response by following the button below.

Last Month's question for the pharmacists:

How does your organization include pharmacists in population health?

They Practice within...

Pharmacy or AmCare 50%
ACO or Physician Group      0%
Population Health 33%
Other 17%

Supporting patients through transitions of care

This month we spoke with Thu Nguyen, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at Banner Health, about the importance of pharmacist involvement in transitions of care – and the benefits pharmacy offers patients.

One of the first concepts Thu establishes here is the pharmacist’s speciality with regard to medication reconciliation. “When medication history is taken by someone in pharmacy” Thu notes, “they have the experience and know the names and characteristics of medications. They can easily discuss that with the patient.”

But the strength of care teams’ transition of care strategy comes down to bandwidth and resources. And in this world of limited resources, it’s sometimes necessary to prioritize a pharmacist’s attention. “If your facility focuses on diabetes, then pharmacists should be deployed to work with patients who have diabetes,” Thu says.

Doing this effectively requires coordination from everyone on a care team. “We have to make time for our transitions of care service,” Thu highlights, “And that means we have to collaborate with each other. But getting buy-in from the whole care team isn’t just about building a transition of care service. It’s about having an impact on patient lives.”

That impact leads us to one of the trickiest parts of being a pharmacist: proving the efficacy of  interventions throughout the broader population. After all, it’s difficult to standardize and prove ROI across a range of healthcare settings. But the biggest takeaway here is that a cross-functional approach to transitions of care requires time. A pilot project alone could last a full year.

Nonetheless, Thu is confident this approach works. “One of the greatest things I’m trying to do is showcase why we need to focus on transitions of care. I hope my audience isn’t just pharmacists. Integration is a huge factor that contributes to the success of a transitions of care service. So everybody needs to be on board.”

The case for pharmacist intervention

In this new monthly section of The Collaborative Practice, we’ll highlight one anonymized patient case from a pharmacist in our network. The goal? Illustrate the value of pharmacist intervention and its benefit to the healthcare ecosystem. Here’s our first case…

Patient Case: Breathing easier (physically and financially)
Last month, one of our clinical pharmacists (Lindsay) met with a 79-year-old patient dealing with mucopurulent chronic bronchitis. The patient was financially burdened by their prescription – Trelegy Ellipta, an expensive ($400 or more per month) branded inhaler – and needed help if they were to continue their care regimen.

Lindsay researched the GlaxoSmithKline patient-assistance program and found that the patient may be eligible for a program that could potentially save them up to $400 per month.

Stories we’re following

From controlling costs with vaccines to the financial benefits of outpatient behavioral health treatment, here are five stories that currently have our attention:

Covid-19 vaccines have saved more than 3 million lives in US, study says, but the fight isn’t over

A new study says Covid-19 vaccines delivered incredible value for the US healthcare system, saving an estimated $1.15 trillion in medical costs.

Employers use patient assistance programs to offset their own costs

Increasingly, employers, benefits brokers, and payers are saving on healthcare costs by categorizing broad lists of medications as non-essential benefits. Some patient advocates fear the move will restrict care for patients with costly needs.

That’s not appropriate: a look at antibiotic prescribing post discharge

Antibiotic stewardship programs help reduce excessive use of antibiotics. A recent study focuses on how education can help curb the development of antimicrobial resistance for both in clinical settings and after discharge.

Outpatient behavioral health treatment associated with reduced medical and pharmacy spending

A recent study published by JAMA Network Open reviews whether outpatient treatment helps lower costs over periods of 15 and 27 months for people with newly diagnosed behavioral health concerns.

Pharmacists can now prescribe Paxlovid at CVS pharmacy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted pharmacists the authority to evaluate patients with COVID-19 and prescribe Paxlovid to clinically eligible patients.

When science and superstitions collide

Our work at RxLive is driven by evidence-based solutions. But we love good storytelling, too.

The Science Vs. podcast delves into trends and popular opinions to tell stories identifying fact, fiction, and the mysteries in between. We especially appreciated the deep dive into the life of a 13-legged sea monster in the recent episode, “When Science and Superstitions Collide.” 

Interested in hearing more? Dive into the complete archive (including written transcripts) here.

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.