Design and implementation of population-based specialty care programs

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The development, implementation, and scaling of 3 population-based specialty care programs in a large integrated healthcare system are reviewed, and the role of clinical pharmacy services in ensuring safe, effective, and affordable care is highlighted.


The Kaiser Permanente (KP) integrated healthcare delivery model allows for rapid development and expansion of innovative population management programs involving pharmacy services. Clinical pharmacists have assumed integral roles in improving the safety and effectiveness of high-complexity, high-cost care for specialty populations. These roles require an appropriate practice scope and are supported by an advanced electronic health record with disease registries and electronic surveillance tools for care-gap identification. The 3 specialty population programs described were implemented to address variation or unrecognized gaps in care for at-risk specialty populations. The Home Phototherapy Program has leveraged internal partnerships with clinical pharmacists to improve access to cost-effective nonpharmacologic interventions for psoriasis and other skin disorders. The Multiple Sclerosis Care Program has incorporated clinical pharmacists into neurology care in order to apply clinical guidelines in a systematic manner. The KP SureNet program has used clinical pharmacists and data analytics to identify opportunities to prevent drug-related adverse outcomes and ensure timely follow-up.


Specialty care programs improve quality, cost outcomes, and the patient experience by appropriating resources to provide systematic and targeted care to high-risk patients. KP leverages an integration of people, processes, and technology to develop and scale population-based specialty care.

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