Impact of a pharmacist–physician collaborative care model on patient outcomes and health services utilization

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Abstract

Purpose

The impact of a pharmacist–physician collaborative care model on patient outcomes and health services utilization is described.

Methods

Six hospitals from the Carilion Clinic health system in southwest Virginia, along with 22 patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices affiliated with Carilion Clinic, participated in this project. Eligibility criteria included documented diagnosis of 2 or more of the 7 targeted chronic conditions (congestive heart failure, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression), prescriptions for 4 or more medications, and having a primary care physician in the Carilion Clinic health system. A total of 2,480 evaluable patients were included in both the collaborative care group and the usual care group. The primary clinical outcomes measured were the absolute change in values associated with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia management from baseline within and between the collaborative care and usual care groups.

Results

Significant improvements (p < 0.01) in glycosylated hemoglobin, blood pressure, low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol were observed in the collaborative care group compared with the usual care group. Hospitalizations declined significantly in the collaborative care group (23.4%), yielding an estimated cost savings of $2,619 per patient. The return on investment (net savings divided by program cost) was 504%.

Conclusion

Inclusion of clinical pharmacists in this physician–pharmacist collaborative care–based PCMH model was associated with significant improvements in patients' medication-related clinical health outcomes and a reduction in hospitalizations.

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