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Published: March 3, 2016

Building a top secret, value-based weapon to improve patient engagement and access to care: A how-to guide

When it comes to treating population health, there is nothing that can replace the value of a real-life, caring person inquiring about a patient’s feelings, opinions and thoughts in order to identify barriers to medication access and adherence. Why is that? The square root of population health is the health of the individual patient.

We’ve previously spoken on the evolving role of the clinical pharmacist in the team-based approach to medical care and pointed out that clinical pharmacists are a resource that providers routinely under-utilize.  Pharmacists have the highest capability to improve access to care, patient engagement, medication compliance and patient outcomes.  In addition pharmacists also have the ability to improve a hospital's performance and diminish Medicare readmissions rate penalties. Medication management programs led by clinical pharmacists are a key weapon in delivering value-based care.

Want to know more?

How to build your own top secret, value-based weapon:

Provide access to care - increase time per patient interaction, remove clinical administrative burdens

Medication therapy management (MTM), when done in a thoughtful, comprehensive manner, is a powerful tool that directly engages patients to improve medication adherence.  While conducting medication therapy management, clinical pharmacists spend time discussing medication issues and protocols with patients.

Improve patient education and expand the care team reach

Pharmacists trained to educate patients and possess pharmacological expertise that most prescribers do not. Clinical pharmacists trained as experts in medication therapy management devote patient-focused time to address medication-related issues and optimize medication therapy.

Determine the appropriate level patient engagement required to improve adherence levels

Medication adherence outside of the controlled environment of the hospital is an issue. Medication possession ratio (MPR) is one commonly accepted metric on adherence, but it only tells part of the story. The minimum required next step is: "You got your prescription filled. Now let's make sure you take your medication as prescribed."

Improve adherence to improve outcomes - reducing hospital readmissions

In a cohort of HIV patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), consistent patient outreach to ensure adherence, along with customized prescription packaging improved adherence by 28% and patients demonstrating 95% adherence improved 69%.

To read Patrick’s and David’s full article, visit Becker’s Hospital Review.

If you would like to start a conversation with us on how to build your own value-based secret weapon, drop us a line.

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