Pharmacists are key members of the health care team, providing patient and healthcare provider education, medication management services to address costly healthcare related problems, help improve patient safety, control chronic illnesses and working to prevent adverse drug events and misadventures.
Pharmacists can and work jointly with physicians, organizations, hospitals to provide pharmaceutical care by managing chronic conditions in the ambulatory care setting, manage formulary systems, improve medication use systems for insured, under insured and serve as a resource for drug information. , Studies have shown that including a pharmacist on the primary care team improves outcomes in patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma and in the emergency room.
Health care leaders and payers have better understanding of the contributions pharmacists make and it is likely that the number of pharmacists working collaboratively with primary care physicians will continue to grow in the future. President Bill Clinton, who was the keynote speaker during the 2012 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) midyear meeting indicated that pharmacists, “are trusted by both parties in Washington,” and have a golden opportunity to help make health care reform as effective as possible. He encouraged ASHP and pharmacy groups to do whats necessary to help implement the Affordable Care Act properly and to ensure advances in pharmaceuticals actually work to make people healthier and are coupled with changes in lifestyle.
Below is an infographic that depicts the role of pharmacists in primary care, the University of Southern California (USC) projects savings of up to $31.7 million dollars over three years. USC, which received a $12 million CMS Healthcare Innovation Award, describes the intervention protocol and the grant timeline.