Utilizing Clinical Pharmacy Specialists to Address Access to Care Barriers in the Veteran Population for the Management of Diabetes
To show that clinical pharmacy specialists (CPSs) can be utilized in remote facilities to provide appropriate diabetes outcomes along with potential cost savings.Methods:
A retrospective cohort chart review conducted at the Veterans Affairs North Texas Healthcare System (VANTHCS) evaluated outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus referred to CPSs at Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic (FWOPC) or the endocrinologist-managed specialty clinic at the Dallas VA Medical Center (DVAMC). The primary outcome was percentage of patients reaching hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) goal of <8%. Secondary outcomes were percentage of patients reaching HbA1c <7%, time to reach HbA1c goals of <8% and <7%, and cost savings.Results:
There was no statistically significant difference in the number of patients reaching HbA1c goal <8% in the FWOPC (65.3%) compared to the DVAMC (55.8%). Secondary end points comparing FWOPC and DVAMC found no difference in patients reaching HbA1c <7% (20.8% vs 19.2%) and time to reach HbA1c goal of <8% (4.5 vs 6 months) and <7% (8.5 vs 7.5 months). Cost-saving analysis demonstrated a composite of US$350 292 could be saved by the VANTHCS facility if patients continued to be referred to CPS.Conclusion:
CPSs can be utilized in diabetes management to provide similar health outcomes as the endocrinologist-managed clinic and to potentially allow for facility cost savings.