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Doctor-Pharmacy Partnership Reduces Hospitalization For Heart Failure

Doctor-Pharmacy Partnership Reduces Hospitalization For Heart Failure

Researches in Circulation: Heart Failure reported that a doctor-pharmacist partnership in Australia has cut the rate of hospitalization for heart failure patients by 45 percent in the first year of the program. The lead author, Elizabeth E. Roughead, Ph.D., said “If you have heart failure, getting a home visit with your pharmacist and then having a follow-up visit with your doctor about your medicines can keep you out of the hospital.”

The approach cited in this study is similar to the CareRxConnect program, in which a pharmacist goes to the patient home and ask them to bring out all their prescription, non-prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and vitamins that could interact or interfere with prescribed drugs. CareRx experience is that even the best hospital mediation reconciliation program has inherent limitations, and that medication reconciliation in the outpatient setting is nearly non-existent. In the calm of a patient’s home a pharmacist has 100 percent of the patient and care givers’ attention and can better access and educate patients. Mark Livingston, Pharm.D., CareRx’s Clinical Director, notes “that patients are less distracted at home than in a busy ED or discharge setting. And as many patients are forgetful, in the home we can be much more thorough and are able to get the full clinical picture. Patients really open up to a pharmacist as they know this is our area of expertise. CareRxConnect is a phenomenal program that patients are thrilled with.”

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