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Can Medication Therapy Management Help Your Patients Stay out of the Hospital?

  • May 7, 2014
  • RPh on the Go

medication-therapy-managementMedication therapy management (MTM) may help low-risk patients from entering the hospital while ill. A new study reports that medication therapy management does not improve overall hospitalization risk for patients that require more intense care. Other studies have evaluated pharmacy-led management of medication, with results varying. Pharmacists must assess how the service can be most valuable to patients, and what services low-risk patients may require to help avoid a hospital stay or emergency room visit.

Medication therapy management commonly entails personal medication counseling between a pharmacist and patient, individualized medication regimen and dosage schedule to be shared between a patient and their care provider, identification of potential medication conflicts, and a course of action to approaching a patient’s illness and treatment with medication. The study that was conducted found that medication counseling resolved 90% of potential prescription conflicts. Among patients that were hospitalized, those who had received medication therapy management made up only ⅓ of study participants. The study concluded similar results for patients who were hospitalized at 30 days, with those in the MTM group six times less likely to be admitted to the hospital compared to the control group.

Medication therapy management can be done by telephone in some cases, though pharmacists must determine if patients and caregivers can manage their medications somewhat independently in order for this to be effective. Patients who require more pharmacist assistance to take their medications may require more direct pharmacist intervention. Pharmacists can help their patients to manage their medications and their illnesses by discussing how best to contact them at the time of prescription pickup, and making calls and follow-up appointments as needed. Pharmacists can help their low-risk patients to avoid a lengthy hospital stay by following up with patients at both the 30 and 60 day marks. Increasing patient care quality is crucial to care management goals, and will help to ensure patient retention and return visits to your pharmacy.

Helping patients to manage their medication can mean that they not only avoid costly hospital stays, but can improve overall well-being, and help to retain patients long-term at your pharmacy location. Engaging with the community to help patients better manage their medications through follow up calls, helping to schedule prescription pickups at times which are convenient, and addressing patient pain and comfort concerns can all help pharmacists to better understand the needs of the community they serve. Patient illnesses vary, and their medication management can be streamlined with the aid of their pharmacist. Avoiding prescription conflicts can also help to ensure that patients that take numerous medications do not experience adverse reactions as a result of a medication being phased out or added to their current regime. Pharmacists can use medication therapy to counsel their patients on correct dosages of their medications, and help to ensure that all medications are being taken as instructed.

Does your pharmacy participate in a medication therapy management program? Consider adding one today!

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