Can Pharmacists Play A Strategic Role In Improving Patient Outcomes And Preventing Hospital Readmissions?

Can Pharmacists Play a Strategic Role in Improving Patient Outcomes and Preventing Hospital Readmissions?

As health care reform shifts from volume-based care to value-based care, many question whether pharmacists can play a strategic role in improving patient outcomes and preventing hospital readmissions. We believe the answer is yes, most definitely! And Parata customers and pharmacists Tim Wright and his wife, Nora Wright, are proof that they can do just that. The couple own and operate Wagner Pharmacies, with four locations in Clinton, Iowa.

The Wrights developed a data-driven clinical program, MedAssist, designed to improve patient outcomes and position their pharmacy for success in the changing health care landscape. The Wrights fundamentally believe that pharmacists can improve outcomes and reduce readmissions through a robust medication adherence program supported by patient education and internal communication.

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Ebola And Public Policy #RxChat

Ebola and Public Policy #RxChat

This week’s #RxChat covered some tough questions regarding the Ebola outbreak. Specifically the moderator asked about quarantines, travel restrictions and the role the courts will play.  There are no easy answers to these questions as personal rights, public healthcare and other important factors weigh into the decisions being made by countries restricting travel and public officials ordering healthcare workers into mandatory quarantines.

The one issue remains clear: dedicated healthcare professionals are needed in West Africa to deal with the outbreak. How travel restrictions and quarantines factor in remains to be seen and debated. But at the heart of the problem is caring for those affected now to eliminate the spread of the virus.

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How To Securely Automate Schedule II Prescription Drugs Under New DEA Regulations

How to Securely Automate Schedule II Prescription Drugs under New DEA Regulations

On Monday, October 6, a number of prescription drugs changed classification under the Controlled Substances Act. All hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) are now Schedule II substances, which are more tightly controlled.

HCPs are the most prescribed medications in America, with 135 million prescriptions filled in 2012. In a letter to the DEA, organizations representing more than 100,000 pharmacists emphasized the importance of remembering that millions of Americans legitimately rely on HCPs for acute and chronic pain management.

Because HCPs are fast-movers, many pharmacies have relied on automation to dispense them. The regulatory change impacts the way pharmacies will label and package these prescriptions, as well as their security protocols, inventory, recordkeeping and reporting and more. For many pharmacies, this means removing Schedule II drugs from automation and more time counting by hand.

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PQA Presents:  “When The Stars Align: Prepare Your Pharmacy For Success”

PQA presents: “When the Stars Align: Prepare Your Pharmacy for Success”

McKesson ideaShare got off to a great start Monday in sunny Orlando, and the Parata team is happy to be here!

It was standing room only during our sponsored Lunch and Learn session with Sam Stolpe, PharmD, Director of Quality Strategies at the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), and a Next-Generation Pharmacist Rising Star of the year finalist. As a member of PQA, we appreciate the leadership by Sam, the core team and work group leaders as they work to improve the quality of medication management and patient health.

Sam talked about the Triple Aim — better health, better care, lower cost — of the nation’s efforts to improve our health care system. In addition, he explained how pharmacists can prepare for success in building new payer and provider relationships by understanding the CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) Star Ratings for Medicare plans. Parata was proud to sponsor the popular session with 50 available seats filled and a waiting list — and just wish we could have accommodated the other 30-plus ideaShare attendees who stood in line hoping for a spot.

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Gateway Apothecary Earns Award For Excellence In HIV Care

Gateway Apothecary Earns Award for Excellence in HIV Care

We’re so proud of Parata customer, Gateway Apothecary in St. Louis, Mo., for receiving the Peter M. Fox Excellence in HIV Credentialing Award, presented annually by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Today, more than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and the Center for Disease Control estimates 50,000 new cases of HIV are diagnosed each year. With new drugs available to treat HIV/AIDS, the number of AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. has dropped dramatically.

With nearly 9,000 new HIV diagnoses over two decades in the St. Louis region alone, Chris Geronsin, pharmacist and owner of Gateway Apothecary, identified an opportunity for Gateway to collaborate with area physicians in a program to improve adherence rates for their HIV patients. Geronsin’s pharmacy has supported HIV patients since the 1990s and today Gateway pharmacists support nearly 700 HIV patients monthly.

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Parata Joins Pharmacy Quality Alliance

Parata Joins Pharmacy Quality Alliance

Parata recently joined the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA). Together, Parata and PQA are committed to improving the quality of medication management and patient health care through a collaborative process.

Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) is a consensus-based, multi-stakeholder membership organization committed to improving health care quality and patient safety with a focus on the appropriate use of medications.

As a member of PQA, Parata will have the opportunity to contribute to the alliance’s PQA’s measure development process — a consensus-driven process used to draft, test, refine and endorse measures of medication-use quality.

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Parata Max Earns GREENGUARD Gold Recertification

Parata Max Earns GREENGUARD Gold Recertification

We’re pleased to announce that Parata Max pharmacy automation dispensing technology has once again achieved the UL Environment (a business division of UL) GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD Gold Certifications for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage.

To date, Parata Max is the only pharmacy automation dispensing technology to have achieved these prestigious certifications. Parata has consistently achieved the GREENGUARD Certification since 2009 and the GREENGUARD Gold Certification since 2010.

The GREENGUARD Gold and GREENGUARD certifications are a testament to Parata’s commitment to providing not only the highest performing next-generation pharmacy automation, but also the most eco-conscious and safest machines we can create.

To learn more about today’s announcement, read the full release.

Role Of The Pharmacist ELearning Series: The Missing Link

Role of the Pharmacist eLearning Series: The Missing Link

This eLearning series addresses the changing health care environment, the importance of technology as a tool to achieve improved care and efficiency, and the opportunities for pharmacists to play new strategic roles.

We’ve examined the challenges, gaps and missing factors in our traditional health care model. We’ve looked at new care models that aim to address those issues and how pharmacists’ roles are changing.

Today, we’ll tackle the last portion of our eBook: technology as the missing link.

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Role Of The Pharmacist ELearning Series: The Emerging Role Of The Pharmacist

Role of the Pharmacist eLearning series: The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist

This eLearning series addresses the changing health care environment, the importance of technology as a tool to achieve improved care and efficiency, and the opportunities for pharmacists to play new strategic roles.

So, we’ve covered the challenges, gaps and missing factors in our traditional health care model. Last week, we looked at new care models that aim to address those issues.

Today, we’ll discuss how pharmacists’ roles are changing.

Part 5: The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist

Pharmacists are starting to get the attention they deserve, from players who matter. Legislators, industry leaders, insurers, providers and patients are recognizing that pharmacists have a critical role to play on an integrated health care team.

With their qualifications and experience, pharmacists can play a great role in patient care and help bridge gaps in our health care system.

Emerging Role Pharmacist Healthcare Ecosystem - Part 6 - Pharmacist Role

In 2005, 133 million Americans — almost half the adult population — suffered from at least one chronic disease. By 2025, this number is expected to reach 164 million.

As chronic diseases continue to increase in prevalence, they will put more demand on the nation’s health care system. And primary care physicians’ availability to provide effective preventative care is already shrinking.

Pharmacists are positioned to help.

One of our system’s biggest challenges is gaps in care. Many patients have no contact from a health care provider after a visit to the hospital or between doctors’ visits. Often, these times are critical to keeping patients healthy.

Pharmacists are equipped to provide this follow-up care. Their expertise in medication management is especially helpful to the growing population of patients managing chronic diseases.

Pharmacists already partner with patients and other clinicians to improve care in these areas:

  • Medication therapy management
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Disease management
  • Patient education

In our rapidly changing health care environment, pharmacists can become much more than medication processers. Now is the time for pharmacists to define their roles, expand their businesses and increase their revenue streams.

Next, we’ll look at how pharmacists can incorporate technology to elevate their role. Check back next week for Part 6: The Missing Link.

And, be sure to download our complete related eBook, “The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist in the Healthcare Ecosystem,” and its accompanying infographic.

Role Of The Pharmacist ELearning Series: The Changing Model Of Care

Role of the Pharmacist eLearning series: The Changing Model of Care

This eLearning series addresses the changing healthcare environment, the importance of technology as a tool to achieve improved care and efficiency, and the opportunities for pharmacists to play new strategic roles.

So far, we’ve discussed the challenges, gaps and missing factors in our traditional healthcare model. Last week, we stated that we have the resources and expertise to provide great patient care. We just need to address the gaps in the system.

Today, we’ll look at some emerging care models that aim to do just that.

Part 4: The Changing Model of Care

Spurred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare system is working towards coordinated, patient-centered care with a focus on value — not volume. Healthcare providers are creating models that bridge gaps in patient care, improve care coordination and use resources more appropriately.

Emerging Role Pharmacist Healthcare Ecosystem - Part 4 - Changing Model

In new models, care is centered around the patient. Patients are engaged, involved in decision making and have a say in their own care. And members of their care teams work together to improve their patients’ experience and outcomes.

The primary care physician, who develops a patient’s care plan, acts as the hub of the medical team. The physician shares information with other team members and should be easily accessible.

Information isn’t the only thing the team shares. In new models, team members also share risk. Every provider on the healthcare team has a gain or cost share. If the team, as a whole, meets established quality and cost goals, the team members share the savings. If the group falls short of those goals, the team members split the loss.

Many of these emerging “team” models are based on one of two strategies:

Consolidated Networks
In a consolidated network, a single system “owns” patient care. For example, Kaiser Permanente employs all members on a patient’s healthcare team — from doctors to surgeons to pharmacists. Patients stay in the same system for all their healthcare needs.

About 70 percent of hospitals are consolidated networks.

Collaborative Networks
This system involves smaller players who create informal, flexible relationships with other healthcare providers. They do not own other entities in their network, but they do share information with one another.

These powerful collaborations generally do not have contracts or risk and reward systems. They are community-based, tied to a local neighborhood, and founded on personal relationships and trust.

Consolidated and collaborative networks are different in structure but similar in concept. Both are about improving patient care and outcomes while lowering costs.

Next, we’ll look at why pharmacists are a critical part of an integrated patient care team. Check back next week for Part 5: The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist.

And, be sure to download our complete related eBook, “The Emerging Role of the Pharmacist in the Healthcare Ecosystem,” and its accompanying infographic.

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