Integration of outpatient infectious diseases clinic pharmacy services and specialty pharmacy services for patients with HIV infection

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Abstract

Purpose.

The integration of specialty pharmacy services and existing outpatient clinical pharmacy services within an infectious diseases (ID) clinic to optimize the care of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is described.

Summary.

The management of HIV-infected patients is a highly specialized area of practice, often requiring use of complex medication regimens for reduction of HIV-associated morbidity and mortality prophylaxis and treatment of opportunistic infections, and prevention of HIV transmission. To maximize the effectiveness and safety of treatment with antiretroviral agents and associated pharmacotherapies, an interdisciplinary team is often involved in patient care. At Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine (NM), the outpatient ID clinic has long worked with an interdisciplinary care team including physicians, clinical pharmacists, nurses, and social workers to care for patients with HIV infection. In April 2014, specialty pharmacy services for patients with HIV infection were added to the NM ID clinic’s care model to help maintain continuity of care and enhance patient follow-up. The care model includes well-defined roles for clinical pharmacists, pharmacy residents and students on rotation, and licensed pharmacy technicians. Specialty pharmacy services, including medication education, prescription fulfillment, assistance with medication access (e.g., navigation of financial assistance programs, completion of prior-authorization requests), and treatment monitoring, allow for closed-loop medication management of the HIV-infected patient population.

Conclusion.

Integration of specialty pharmacy services with the interdisciplinary care provided in the outpatient NM ID clinic has enhanced continuity of care for patients with HIV infection in terms of prescription filling, medication counseling, and adherence monitoring.

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