A new survey determines that pharmacy students benefit most from MTM training early in their curricula.
A new December 2011 report, “Development and Implementation of Curricula Strategies in Medication Therapy Management by Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy
” outlines the value of teaching medication therapy management (MTM) in pharmacy schools. A total of 18 colleges and schools of pharmacy were recently surveyed by the American Pharmacists Association and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to evaluate their MTM practices.
Each school was asked to describe successful MTM practices and identify the outcomes and the barriers to implementation of each program.
The resulting report outlined the benefits of introducing the concept of MTM into the pharmacy curriculum early in the educational process. It concluded that pharmacy students have a greater understanding of MTM practices if they are introduced in this manner.
According to the report, “active learning strategies in conjunction with the didactic curriculum are beneficial to providing experiences that simulate MTM sessions.”
The report also noted that because MTM is difficult to test in a standardized setting, “active learning” processes are crucial in the development of a student’s skills. These active pedagogical objectives instruct educators to: teach the pharmacy student new concepts, include training programs involving real-life “introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs),” and tailor the coursework to reflect these IPPEs.
The key factors affecting successful training in MTM are defined by the authors of the APhA/AACP survey as the ability to:
· Simulate patient care experiences, either at nursing homes or senior centers.
· Administer clinical examinations at various points of the curriculum to prove competency and understand the high-level services they are expected to provide.
· Expose student pharmacists to documentation and billing platforms during their curriculum through MTM mock claims.
· Utilize existing MTM certificate programs to develop coursework and incentivize participation in MTM.
· Explore changes in curriculum (if necessary) to support MTM objectives.
The authors of the report concluded that MTM practices should be incorporated early in the student curriculum, even if the student does not yet have the drug knowledge to apply the teachings. The survey from the American Pharmacists Association maintained that MTM changes should be made with student, faculty, and “preceptor input” for optimal results.
The schools who submitted to the call for MTM best practices were:
· Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
· Lipscomb University, Tennessee College of Pharmacy
· Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
· Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Atlanta
· North Dakota State University College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences
· The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
· South Carolina College of Pharmacy
· Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
· Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy
· University of Florida College of Pharmacy MTM Call Center
· University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
· University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
· University of Montana Skaggs School of Pharmacy
· University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy
· University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
· University of Southern Nevada College of Pharmacy
· University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy
· West Virginia University School of Pharmacy