Development and Implementation of Clinical Pharmacist Services Within an Integrated Medical Group

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Abstract

Background:

In 2012, pharmacists were integrated into a medical group to provide direct patient care, drug information activities, and health care provider education. The medical group encompasses 40 primary care and 60 specialty offices in Virginia.

Objective:

To describe the development and implementation of clinical pharmacist services integrated within a medical group.

Methods:

Pharmacists’ roles and responsibilities, type and number of patient encounters, and identification of strategies to facilitate implementation are described.

Results:

From June 2012 to December 2014, pharmacists had 809 patient encounters, which included patient-centered education, medication consults, Medicare annual wellness visits, senior care visits, and comprehensive medication reviews. Pharmacists addressed 403 drug information requests from nurse navigators, providers, and administrators. Pharmacists also have roles in risk management, quality improvement initiatives, and operations that benefit the medical group. Strategies to facilitate implementation include working with organizational leadership, identifying a physician champion, and establishing credibility by being responsive to practice needs and responding to requests in a timely manner to build trust within the health care team.

Conclusion:

Integration of pharmacists within health care teams involves more than direct patient care activities. Pharmacists should be involved at the organizational level to have a broader impact on patient and practice levels.

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