Utilization of influenza and streptococcal pharyngitis point-of-care testing in the community pharmacy practice setting

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Abstract

Background:

One way to reduce the complications and costs of influenza like illness and pharyngitis is to improve access to testing and treatment in early stages of infection. Pharmacy-based screening and treatment of group A streptococcus (GAS) infection and influenza has the potential to improve patient care and population health.

Objective:

To improve patient care and population health, the objective of this retrospective study was to assess if a previously validated service model could be implemented by pharmacy chains without mandated standardization.

Methods:

Researchers utilized a certificate program to provide initial training to pharmacists and shared templates from previous validated models. Pharmacy companies were responsible for navigation of all implementation within their company. Researchers analyzed the de-identified data from patients seeking point-of-care testing from the participating pharmacies.

Results:

Participating pharmacies reported 661 visits for adult (age 18 and over) patients tested for influenza for GAS pharyngitis. For the GAS patients, 91 (16.9%) tested positive. For the Influenza patients, 22.9% tested positive and 64 (77.1%) testing negative. Access to care was improved as patients presented to the visit outside normal clinic hours for 38% of the pharmacy visits, and 53.7% did not have a primary care provider.

Conclusion:

A collaborative care model for managing patients with symptoms consistent with influenza or group A streptococcus can be successfully implemented, and improve access to care outside of normal clinic hours and for those without a regular primary care provider.

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