The Affordable Care Act is going full steam with health insurance exchanges going live this week. How do pharmacists fit into this new accountable healthcare world?
Goals have shifted to continuity of care, preventing readmissions, and patient satisfaction measures, all which have medication use underlying factors. Mark L. Eastham and Bruce Thompson explore clinical pharmacy implications in a recent article in Hospitals & Health Networks.
An editorial in Harvard Business Review also explores how pharmacists at ThedaCare became part of a collaborative care team to improve safety, efficiency, and effectiveness.
But I think pharmacists can assist in an accountable world beyond just their clinical skills. To deal with new models of payment, hospitals are looking to streamline and improve efficiency in all areas. Pharmacists are great problem solvers, and can be adept at performance improvement in the medication process.
With medications being considered a major cost center for a hospital, all points of the stream, from supply to administration, are fair game for optimization. For example, UHC recently announced a new distribution process to align with accountable care and improve outpatient specialty pharmacy needs.
Improved workflow management and monitoring, through medication tracking and analytics, can help turn medication delivery processes into well-oiled, efficient, people-based "machines." Learn more.
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