What Would an Ideal Health Care System with Pharmacist Integration Look Like?

How would you define a comprehensive pharmacy solution that fully utilizes the pharmacist?

I’ve been approached by a startup company looking to develop a comprehensive software system that integrates and analyses all patient-specific information available, and then recommends appropriate interventions that would benefit a specific patient.

The individuals behind this company are information technology professionals who want to use their skills to help solve problems with the current health care system. They hope to create a fully integrated virtual team for each patient, as they believe such a solution could dynamically change health care outcomes. They’re also convinced that a critical player in a successful system is the pharmacist, who they believe must be fully integrated into the care process.

Now, I know there isn’t a simple solution to solve all the problems with our health care system, and including a pharmacist on the health care team won’t remove all obstacles. But, I believe the pharmacist is currently the most underutilized health care team member.

As drug therapy continues to be used as a primary treatment modality, the pharmacist must play an increasingly important role in patient care. How do we make it happen?

As a first step, I’ve been asked to dream about what an ideal system that fully integrates the pharmacist into all patient care settings would look like. So, I’m asking you to dream about it, too, and share your dream with me via e-mail at Fred@ncpharmacists.org or Twitter @eckel_fred.

Certainly, I have my own ideas, but I want to make sure I’m thinking as comprehensively as possible, which is why I’m asking for your help. Will you dream with me and share your thoughts?