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The Reinvented Pharmacist

Transitions of Care

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
A recent news release described an innovative program in which a community pharmacist comes into a rehabilitation hospital to deliver medication and counseling directly to a patient prior to discharge. Then there is a follow-up call within 72 hours—from a pharmacist—to help the patient understand and comply with their medication therapy.
 
The reason for such a program is clear. Transitions of care are a very vulnerable time for patients. Often care transitions can be a confusing time for patients and even caregivers. Studies have shown that when patients adhere to their medication regimen, costs go down. Using a pharmacist in this role seems to lead to improved quality, lower costs, and improved patient satisfaction.
 
I believe that more community pharmacists need to think about how they might implement such a transition of care program in their own community. The news release describes a program in Florida run by Walgreens and Greystone Healthcare Management. Is such a program only possible when run by large corporations or could a local pharmacy do it, too? What do you think?
Blog Info
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times
Blog Description
This blog focuses on what our Editor-in-Chief sees as the future of pharmacy.
Author Bio
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, is the Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Eckel is a professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves as executive director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists.

In this blog, Eckel will provide commentary on relevant issues impacting pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, including the merging of pharmacy benefit managers, the implications of health care reform, the conversion of major drugs from prescription to over-the-counter, trends in pharmacy careers, and opioid abuse. He will also discuss legislative issues that impact pharmacists, and comment on the evolving role of the pharmacist.
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