As Ambulatory Care Pharmacist Patrick Welch recently walked a patient out to the clinic lobby after a visit, the patient said, “This has been so helpful. I’ve never understood my medicines before.” It was an example of the impact a pharmacist involved in a patient’s office visit can have on the overall experience and care of a patient.
Intermountain has increased pharmacy support of value-based care clinics to meet the needs of physicians, APPs, and care teams—and to improve outcomes for patients.
When the closure of Intermountain community pharmacies created a gap in pharmacy services for Medical Group clinic patients and their ambulatory care teams, Intermountain hired some of the displaced pharmacy caregivers to support value-based care by embedding them in our primary care clinics. Some pharmacists from the community pharmacies were retrained to staff an Ask Pharmacy resource, which has been established to answer questions related to medication therapy and is available to physicians, APPs, and care teams. Ask Pharmacy is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by telephone or through the iCentra Message Center.
Pharmacy Services has also created a team of 16 pharmacists and 10 pharmacy technicians as part of the broader effort to increase pharmacist consult support across the Medical Group. This support involves medication management and consultative services to patients and care teams to help ensure the most effective, safe, and affordable therapies are used. Once the newly assigned pharmacists complete their onboarding over the coming weeks, ambulatory care pharmacists will transition into the clinics where medication therapy questions can be answered directly. Five additional pharmacists and 10 pharmacy technicians have been added to further assist value-based care patients during transitions in care.
Mike Taylor, practice supervisor at the Intermountain Syracuse Clinic, says ambulatory care pharmacists are a great addition to the team.
“They’re such a great asset to our clinics and make a huge impact on our patient’s care—helping them understand the medicines they’re on, get on the right dosing, and even help with cost-saving measures,” Mike says.
“Further expansion of consultative pharmacy services is the right next step for Medical Group clinics and our patients,” says Cara Camiolo Reddy, MD, associate chief medical officer for clinical services.
For questions about Ask Pharmacy or expanded pharmacists in Medical Group clinics, contact your operations leader, Dr. Camiolo, or Jeff Olson, pharmacy operations director.
How to contact Ask Pharmacy:
- 801-284-1118, option 3. This will be the best option if a timely response is needed, such as when it involves a patient currently in a clinic visit.
- Message Center in iCentra. Send messages to the ‘Pharmacy-Questions’ pool in iCentra. Allow one to two business days for responses.