The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) are working together to improve patient outcomes by facilitating the involvement of pharmacists in medication-related transitions of care from acute care to home settings. The associations recently launched the Medication Management in Care Transitions Project, which focuses on identifying and profiling existing best practice models that are scalable in order to facilitate broad adoption.
There is significant national focus on reducing preventable complications that result from poorly coordinated care transitions. Care transition models involving pharmacists are emerging, but have not yet been well-defined. APhA and ASHP are seeking examples of innovative care models that improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions by involving pharmacists in medication-related transitions of care.
“Utilizing pharmacists’ expertise is key in reducing the number of hospital readmissions, many of which are the result of medication-related problems,” said ASHP Executive Vice President and CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., FASHP. “Pharmacists’ medication therapy management services can help prevent overuse, underuse, and inappropriate use of health care services that might otherwise lead to costly readmissions. This project will spotlight innovative care models that should be emulated around the country.”
“Pharmacists are optimally positioned to ensure patients get the full benefit from safe, evidence-based use of medications,” stated Thomas Menighan, CEO and Executive Vice President, APhA. “As pharmacists become increasingly involved in transitions of care, there is a need to highlight effective strategies for medication therapy management services that improve patient outcomes. We are excited to partner with ASHP to study the best practices in the profession and promote adoption of these models among other health professionals.”
An expert panel will review the initiatives and select up to six care transitions programs for development into case studies. Based on the case studies, the expert panel will highlight key elements from successful programs, describe implementation barriers and recommend strategies for addressing these barriers. A report of these recommendations will be available in late spring 2012.
About American Society for Health-System Pharmacists
For more than 60 years, ASHP has helped pharmacists who practice in hospitals and health systems improve medication use and enhance patient safety. The Society's 35,000 members include pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who practice in inpatient, outpatient, home-care, and long-term-care settings, as well as pharmacy students. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's Web site, www.ashp.org or its consumer Web site, www.SafeMedication.com.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States.