A qualitative evaluation of medication management services in six Minnesota health systems

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The initiation, establishment, and sustainability of medication management programs in six Minnesota health systems are described.


Six Minnesota health systems with well-established medication management programs were invited to participate in this study: Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, HealthPartners, Hennepin County Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, and Park Nicollet Health Services. Qualitative methods were employed by conducting group interviews with key staff from each institution who were influential in the development of medication management services within their organization. Kotter's theory of eight steps for leading organizational change served as the framework for the question guide. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for recurring and emergent themes.


A total of 13 distinct themes were associated with the successful integration of medication management services across the six healthcare systems. Identified themes clustered within three stages of Kotter's model for leading organizational change: creating a climate for change, engaging and enabling the whole organization, and implementing and sustaining change. The 13 themes included (1) external influences, (2) pharmacists as an untapped resource, (3) principles and professionalism, (4) organizational culture, (5) momentum champions, (6) collaborative relationships, (7) service promotion, (8) team-based care, (9) implementation strategies, (10) overcoming challenges, (11) supportive care model process, (12) measuring and reporting results, and (13) sustainability strategies.


A qualitative survey of six health systems that successfully implemented medication management services in ambulatory care clinics revealed that a supportive culture and team-based collaborative care are among the themes identified as necessary for service sustainability.

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