Enabling Pharmacist-Patient collaboration for clinical services

Adverse drug events, medication non-adherence and non-optimized drug therapies have a considerable negative impact on the healthcare ecosystem. The lack of health literacy and access to quality care exacerbates the situation resulting in everything from ER visits, readmissions, additional medication, services utilization, and even deaths. Thankfully, not only is technology now mature enough to help with this, but the healthcare industry has recognized the value of pharmacists as a critical part of care teams and as the medication experts.

According to Professor Timothy D. Aungst, Professor of Pharmacy, MCPHS, pharmacists need real-time and up-to-date information on their patients so as to provide timely and appropriate care. Having patient symptoms, health status, medications, care plan, labs and encounter history in one place can give the pharmacist a fuller picture on the patient and enables accurate care decisions and appropriate interventions.

Pharmacist portal

Figure: Digital health implications for clinical pharmacists services: A primer on the current landscape and future concerns; Aungst, Franzese and Kim, JAACCP (Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy)

Technology has made this possible with app-mediated collaboration between the clinicians and patient,  patient apps that capture patient reported outcomes and adherence, and telehealth tools for the clinician to monitor their patients.

Such digital health tools provide value to pharmacists as follows:

  • Productivity in the form of automated workflows of everyday tasks like medication safety checks and organizing medications
  • Patient Education and ongoing guidance provided by the patient app
  • Shared decision making between the care team, patient and family caregiver based on buy-in to a medication regimen and more
  • Up-to-date information on patients like Patient symptoms and health status, medication and care plan adherence
  • Documented patient encounters, recommendations and share with prescribers
  • Convenient communication via video and secure chat messaging instead of playing phone tag

These digital tools enable pharmacists to provide clinical services in different settings including:

  • Preventive care
  • Chronic Condition Management
  • Transitional Care Management
  • Medication Therapy Management

This varies based on Provider status by state today and collaborative agreements with physicians.  The best part is that business models are aligning wherein reimbursement codes for the above are finally making it possible for pharmacists to explore such pathways.

Illuminate.health was recently part of a Pharmacy Summit with Kimber Boothe, Sue Paul, Brooke Griffin and other passionate pharmacists.  It was very gratifying to hear how we are on the right path to helping pharmacists practice at the top of their license, and focus on what they enjoy doing, which is caring for patients.

Based on research from thought leaders like Professor Aungst , our own pharmacists, and collaborators like Mednovate, illuminate.health has enhanced its telehealth tools for pharmacists so they can leverage technology for the above scenarios and get back to caring for and educating patients more accurately and efficiently.