Innovations in patient care models play a key role in improving patient outcomes

In an interview with Pharmacy hours® at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meetings and Expos, Arpit Mehta, PharmD, MPh, MHA, Director of Pharmacy at Allegheny General Hospital, discusses innovations in patient care models health system patients to improve patient outcomes.

Q: What does an effective patient care model look like?

Arpit Mehta: An effective patient care model looks like a team of professionals, including a pharmacist, doctor or provider, nurse, team of patient care technicians, all coming together providing the patient with comprehensive patient-centered care. . Certainly the emphasis being on improving the health of the population, you know, so beyond the hospitals are the 4 walls of the hospital. How can we provide the best patient care when a patient is safe, staying healthy, home, and well taken care of?

Q: What innovations can be made for a more efficient patient care model?

Arpit Mehta: I think the big deal is that healthcare automation is doing automation and healthcare technology and healthcare has grown tremendously over the last decade. There’s a lot of automation that can be leveraged to free up our clinicians to really focus on that aspect of direct patient care. Automations that can make core operations more automated or free of humans involved in this day-to-day automation, freeing up our pharmacists, technicians, to perform some higher level functions and transition care services. It’s really shifting the mindset from how we traditionally work in pharmacy or healthcare, to what the future looks like with automation, beyond the operations of an artificial intelligence d clinical decision support that really predicts what disease state management and what the interaction looks like, and how can we leverage all of that to provide comprehensive patient care, is in somehow the future.

Q: How can they improve patient outcomes?

Arpit Mehta: Putting it all together, really, the goal or the key is to free up our clinicians again from the heavy work of just basic thinking about things, so to speak, and to give them some time and give them the opportunity to really focus on these complex cases, complex medication management or medication reviews, and allow them to really focus on this patient interaction or talking to patients, helping them educate themselves , to help them understand, to help them succeed in their own health, I think that’s really the key to the future of health care.

Q: What role do pharmacists play in patient care models?

Arpit Mehta: Pharmacists play a key role in patient care models in that we are the drug experts, and our physician teams or our provider teams really rely on the pharmacist to play that role and really help, not just from a patient education standpoint, but really making sure the patient is on the best meds they are on. There are no interactions, medication management is affordable, so to speak, so when they get out of the hospitals they can afford to continue taking their medications, because that’s one of the challenges, the difference is a key issue

It really ensures that the cost, if you will, of health care stays low, doesn’t it. So our cost per member per month, how do we make sure it’s as low as possible so we can reduce the cost of health care and keep people healthy. Pharmacists have played a key role in inpatient as well as outpatient settings throughout the care transition for patient care.

Q: How can pharmacists become effective leaders in patient care models?

Arpit Mehta: Pharmacists are certainly very effective leaders in the medication management part of the team. The idea is that once the team of providers has completed the diagnosis, we know what we are trying to treat the patient. Pharmacists, at this stage, play this leadership role by identifying what is best for the patient. How do you ensure that the patient gets the most affordable and treatment-appropriate care they can get? Pharmacists certainly play a key leadership role in achieving this.

Q: How can pharmacists effectively use communication in patient care models?

Arpit Mehta: Pharmacists are, once again, a key player in the multidisciplinary team. Communicating through notes and progress notes and charts and having that direct communication with the multidisciplinary team is key. Certainly, rounding up with the team, being present in the doctor’s offices, being present or in the outpatient clinics plays a huge role because it allows for a pharmacist-to-pharmacist conversation therefore, a pharmacist on the inpatient side took care of the patient.

Now the patient is going to the outpatient clinic, how do we do that transfer, or transition, and that communication is key, having the ability to communicate through progress notes with pretense information, consistent transfer information, so we’re not retyping the same, we can use a doc phrase or whatever you need to pre-fill, but then put in the key patient specific information. We have consistent, standardized communication between team members and between pharmacists as well. I think that’s kind of the key to making sure everything is communicated effectively with the team.

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