MPA | Pharmacy News

By Kari Vavra Janes, Pharm.D., BCPS, Associate Professor Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, Big Rapids

As you’ve been reading the past several months, the theme for this year is “achieving patient care outcomes.” Dr. Clark in his January article said his stretch goal for all of us this year is to show how to measure and report our effect on patients’ outcomes. As he noted, pharmacy hasn’t historically been the best at this. Pharmacists are making a difference – we just need to step it up when it comes to measuring and reporting the difference we are making.

In trying to pick a topic for my article this month, I came across an article on the American Medical Association’s (AMA) website from 2018 titled “Add a pharmacist to the team to see better outcomes.”1 How fitting with the theme for this year! The article supports adding a pharmacist to improve patient outcomes and recognizes pharmacists as key partners in patient care.1 The article goes on to describe the impact pharmacy has had at Providence Medical Group in Oregon. Pharmacists there assist with medication therapy management, including virtual consults, follow-up visits, medication starts/titrations/tapers, and much more.1 Although the article doesn’t discuss specific patient care outcomes or present metrics, it’s awesome to hear our healthcare colleagues support our contributions to the team!

Additionally, this article goes on further to link pharmacists to their AMA STEPS Forward module.2 The free online module assists with figuring out what pharmacy needs exist and identifying the best type of support.2 It’s a quick read and it’s great to see that there is a focus on measuring pharmacist impact. To provide a little more information about the module, the learning objectives from the module include the following: 2

     1. Explain what it means to embed a pharmacist within a practice.
     2. Describe the different roles a pharmacist can play within a practice.
     3. Identify skills and qualities a pharmacist should have in order to provide benefit to the practice.
     4. List ways to measure the impact of embedding a pharmacist within the practice.

As the year is winding down, continue to think about the theme “achieving patient care outcomes.” We all have a role to play and now is the time to show how we are making a positive impact. Making our impact known benefits everyone – the patients we care for, the healthcare providers we work side-by-side with and the greater pharmacy community.

1. Berg S. American Medical Association. Add a pharmacist to the team to see better outcomes. Accessed Aug. 29, 2019.
2. Choe HM, Standiford CJ, Brown MT. American Medical Association. Embedding Pharmacists Into the Practice; Collaborate with pharmacists to improve patient outcomes. Accessed Aug. 29, 2019.

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