Pharmacist involvement in medication refills is found to improve patient care
Effective collaboration can also positively impact primary care providers
As with other pharmaceutical care models, pharmacist involvement in addressing medication refill requests can enhance patient care as well as positively impact physician workloads, according to a recent study published online in Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. “As medication experts, pharmacists are uniquely positioned with skills to review patients’ complete medication regimens and can make recommendations to improve outcomes, including dose adjustments, transitions to more effective or safer therapy options and addressing drug interactions,” said corresponding author Keri Hurley-Kim, UCI health sciences associate clinical professor of clinical pharmacy practice. “We can also positively impact physician well-being by reducing their administrative workload.” In collaboration with Sarah McBane, UCI health sciences clinical professor of clinical pharmacy practice, and researchers from the Saban Community Clinic in Los Angeles, Hurley-Kim evaluated a pharmacist-managed refill service at a federally qualified health clinic to determine effectiveness of the model. The team found that refill turnaround times and patient access to medication improved, and pharmacists were able to identify and address numerous medication-related problems. “This model may become increasingly important as we face a significant shortage of primary care providers and the demand for quality patient care continues to grow,” Hurley-Kim said.