The Value of Pharmacists in Health Care

Walgreen Co, Deerfield, Illinois, USA.
Population Health Management (Impact Factor: 1.51). 02/2012; 15(3):157-62. DOI: 10.1089/pop.2011.0030
Source: PubMed


The American health care system is concerned about the rise of chronic diseases and related resource challenges. Management of chronic disease traditionally has been provided by physicians and nurses. The growth of the care management industry, in which nurses provide remote telephonic monitoring and coaching, testifies to the increasing need for care management and to the value of nonphysician clinicians. However, this model is challenged by a number of factors, including low enrollment and the growing shortage of nurses. The challenges to the traditional model are causing policy makers and payers to consider innovative models. One such model includes the pharmacist as an essential provider of care. Not only is the number of pharmacists growing, but they are playing an ever broader role in a variety of settings. This article broadly surveys the current state of pharmacist provision of care management services and highlights the increasingly proactive role played by Walgreen Co. toward this trend, using recently conducted research. Pharmacists are making a noticeable impact on and contribution to the care of chronic diseases by improving adherence to medications, a key factor in the improvement of outcomes. Literature also suggests that pharmacies are increasingly encouraging, expanding, and highlighting the role and contributions of their professional pharmacists. Although the role of the pharmacist in chronic care management is still developing, it is likely to grow in the future, given the needs of the health care system and patients.

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    • "There is robust evidence demonstrating that pharmacists can coach patients cost-effectively about health behaviours and improve clinical and economic outcomes in chronic conditions , e.g. asthma and diabetes, using structured programmes (Mitchell et al., 2011; Patwardhan et al., 2012; Saini et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioural therapies are recommended as the first-line treatment of insomnia; however, sedatives and hypnotics constitute the main treatment modality used in primary care. Community pharmacies provide a unique conduit for identifying and providing appropriate treatment for those with insomnia either purchasing prescription sedatives or seeking over-the-counter treatments. A feasibility study using a cluster-randomized controlled trial, testing the efficacy of trained pharmacists providing behavioural interventions such as stimulus control and sleep restriction to patients with insomnia, in improving insomnia severity was conducted. The intervention involved three pharmacy visits (baseline, 1 and 3 months follow-up). The control group received usual care and information sheets on insomnia. The primary outcome was the Insomnia Severity Index. Twelve community pharmacists (five control, seven intervention) in New South Wales, Australia were recruited and trained. These pharmacists, in turn, recruited 46 patients (22 control, 24 intervention (mean age 53.7 ± 18.4, 72% females) and delivered a brief behavioural therapy intervention. The overall decrease in Insomnia Severity Index from baseline to the 3-month follow-up in the intervention group, n = 17 (7.6 ± 4.3 points), was significantly greater than for the control group, n = 19 (2.9 ± 8.8 points) (mean difference 4.6, 95% confidence interval: 0.005-9.2, P = 0.05). However, when the effect of clustering was taken into account using a mixed-effects model, the estimated difference in Insomnia Severity Index (change from baseline to visit 3) between the intervention and control groups was not significant (group difference in Insomnia Severity Index change = 3.78, 95% confidence interval: -0.81 to 8.37, P = 0.11; intracluster correlation = 0.18). The study highlights the use of a novel venue to deliver brief behavioural therapies for insomnia using trained non-psychologist health professionals. Although, when cluster effect was taken into account, the difference in Insomnia Severity Index reduction between the intervention versus control groups was non-significant, the results highlight that reductions in insomnia severity can be gained using trained pharmacists providing brief behavioural interventions. Future research in this area is warranted, with appropriately sized studies using the conventional, robust randomized trial design. © 2015 European Sleep Research Society.
    Journal of Sleep Research 08/2015; DOI:10.1111/jsr.12328 · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    • "Community pharmacies have started playing an increasingly important role in immunization services [21]. Therefore it is possible that they might also be able to contribute to syndromic surveillance of infectious diseases. "
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    ABSTRACT: The potential threat of bioterrorism along with the emergence of new or existing drug resistant strains of influenza virus, added to expanded global travel, have increased vulnerability to epidemics or pandemics and their aftermath. The same factors have also precipitated urgency for having better, faster, sensitive, and reliable syndromic surveillance systems. Prescription sales data can provide surrogate information about the development of infectious diseases and therefore serve as a useful tool in syndromic surveillance. This study compared prescription sales data from a large drug retailing pharmacy chain in the United States with Google Flu trends surveillance system data as a flu activity indicator. It was found that the two were highly correlated. The correlation coefficient (Pearson 'r') for five years' aggregate data (2007-2011) was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.90-0.94). The correlation coefficients for each of the five years between 2007 and 2011 were 0.85, 0.92, 0.91, 0.88, and 0.87 respectively. Additionally, prescription sales data from the same large drug retailing pharmacy chain in the United States were also compared with US Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) data for 2007 by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The correlation coefficient (Pearson 'r') was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98).
    PLoS ONE 08/2012; 7(8):e43611. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0043611 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic adherence is defined as the extent to which a person's behavior (taking medications, following a diet and changes in lifestyle) coincides with health recommendations (WHO, 2004). We can deduce that is a multiple, complex and changing phenomenon, that there can be total or partial adherence to a treatment, and depending on timing and circumstances. Lack of adherence is a worrying problem; due to its great magnitude and complexity (over two hundred factors) it is responsible for the increased morbid-mortality, complications, hospital admissions, health costs, and dissatisfaction of the user and health professionals. In this paper we develop effective interventions in changing habits and improving adherence: cognitive (education and improved communication), behavior and motivation. Interventions areas include pharmacological treatments, habits and life style, as well as social and family support. The most effective model emphasizes self-care and self-responsibility of the user to manage their disease and increase adherence.
    Enfermería Clínica 01/2013; 24(1). DOI:10.1016/j.enfcli.2013.10.006
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