Pharmacists’ expertise in clinical decision support is moving front and center to the hospital setting for reducing readmissions and increasing adherence rates. Reaching patients where they are and packaging prescriptions to take home reduce the gap in adherence rates.

This is the opportunity to be part of a collaborative team with nurses and providers in the hospital, as well as providers in the community. In a report at the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information, “A Narrative Review of Clinical Decision Support for Inpatient Clinical Pharmacists”, the authors found that “With more than 73% of studies examining CDS [clinical decision support] outside medication verifications and 82% of studies favoring the intervention, these findings suggest CDS implementations targeted toward clinical pharmacists have been increasing and improving as pharmacists’ roles are becoming more clinical and patient-orientated.”

This trend will clearly continue as pharmacists move from dispensing roles to clinical roles, supported by the increased interfaces between the pharmacy system and EHR (electronic health record). The features available in pharmacy systems today, with a myriad of interfaces and features, along with the ability to automate adherence packaging, give pharmacy the tools to excel in CDS.

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Patient-Centric Pharmacy Care

This patient-centric approach does produce positive outcomes. According to the results of a 2019 survey, “Pharmacists Transitions-of-Care Service Improves HCAHPS [Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems] Scores and Decreases 30-day Hospital Readmission Rates,” presented at the ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), “patients who received focused attention from pharmacists during hospital stays expressed higher satisfaction” and were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital.

Since one big issue with CDS is workflow disruptions, it’s important to dig into your system to see what features and modules are there now to make the pharmacy workflow as efficient as possible.

Micro Merchant Pharmacy SystemsPrimeRx provides a comprehensive solution that encompasses complete customer relationship management control with a clinical assessment module and a multitude of interfaces to drug information databases, formularies, EHRs, and user interfaces for both patients and physicians — and serves as an example of what supports outpatient pharmacists’ CDS.

A feature like remote signature capture meets patients where they are, while still recording the required signatures in the patient record. Managing medication interactions and sharing that information with other healthcare providers puts pharmacists front and center with clinical decision support.

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Packaging a 30-day supply for patients before discharge is one way to address transitions of care and other quality measures set by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Adherence packaging solutions from RxSafe address this and do it quickly, according to its 2021 profile in the Health-System Buyers Guide. High adherence, according to RxSafe, can result in a less-than-10% readmission rate, as opposed to rates of 20% for patients with low and intermediate adherence.

The RxSafe pouch packager, RapidPakRx, can produce a 30-day supply in as little as 10 minutes. Twenty, 30, or 40 “smart” bulk-loaded, universal cartridges dispense all oral solid medications with a one-pass workflow, including integrated machine vision verification. Once your workflow needs are outlined, visit the RxSafe 2021 Health-System Buyers Guide profile to see which option would best work for your situation.

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For vendors who’d like to share solutions in our 2022 Health-System Buyers Guide, please contact me to get the details.