The patient centered medical home and pharmacy

From the Pharmacy Technology Resources (PTR) blog:

“Patient Centered Medical Home” (PCMH) – is likely to be the best opportunity for aligning physician and patient frustration, demonstrated models for improving care, and private and public payment systems to produce the most profound transformation of the health care system this far. Wait a second – what about the Family Pharmacist or Consultant Pharmacist? How does pharmacy play into this model? What relationships are being formed today between the community retail pharmacy and these home-care physicians? What active correlation or network can be established nationally to group together seamless health-care services between the home-patient, the physician, and the pharmacy?

First – we’ll say – its ePrescribing with all the industry attention this mode of communication brings between doctors and pharmacists – however – I say it takes more than an electronic network to ensure the proper care is given to the patient. This medical home based model sounds similar to the model from the 1990’s of managed care that was about decreasing costs. Is this system designed to help patients instead of insurers? The relationship between the “local” doctor and the “local” pharmacy is imperative. We have come full circle – where in the 1950’s the relationship between physician and pharmacist was much more prevalent. Today – the home-care doctor can grab his iPhone and digitize the necessary communications with pharmacy for a seamless and completed transaction for the patient. But what about the relationship between the doctor and pharmacist and the periodic medication review for the home-care patient?”

As I have mentioned before, the technology to provide real-time access to patient data is currently available. This provides a genuine opportunity for pharmacist involvement in the medical home model. The PTR blog recommends pharmacists partner with local physicians using the PCMH model, and I think this is a great idea. This is a golden opportunity for all you pharmacists that want to expand your practice setting. What are you waiting for? The time is now.