Preliminary research on incorporating a clinical pharmacist specialist into a team managing a patientcentered medical home (PCMH) shows an emerging body of evidence to support the integration of these specialists, and the potential for costsavings once these caregivers are added to the team.
The researchers note that there is currently no standard guideline for determining clinical pharmacist specialist staffing needs or responsibilities in the PCMH model, and so they reviewed the published literature on PCMH pilot programs with available outcomes. The ultimate goal was to analyze the impact of clinical pharmacy services and potential costsavings associated with implementing a PCMH model at the Kansas City VA Medical Center (KCVA).
The literature review revealed positive contributions of a clinical pharmacist specialist in prescreenings, followup care, and disease management. Outcome measures included reductions in emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and total perpatient costsavings.
The pharmacy leadership at KCVA determined necessary staffing levels and clinical pharmacist specialist procedures and responsibilities. Clinical pharmacist specialist responsibilities focused on identifying patients at high risk for poor medicationrelated outcomes and working with patients in need of improved continuity of care.
- Potential costsavings for KCVA extrapolated from the literature/data review were:
- $6 million$12 million in hospitalizations
- $1 million$8 million in emergency department visits
- $630,000$24 million in total patient costs.
A 1year evaluation of the PCMH program at this institution will commence in the coming year.