Revolutionizing Chronic Care Management: The Role of the Pharmacist

News | August 9th, 2019

As the number of patients with chronic conditions grows, providers are challenged with meeting the complex needs of these patients while also overcoming multiple obstacles, such as rising healthcare costs and meeting patients where they are. Part of the solution is focusing on prevention and proactive management of chronic diseases. Technology has proven especially helpful in managing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver and cardiovascular disease that require close monitoring and real-time adjustments. However, providers must also develop a patient-centered care team that utilizes each member of the care team in order to truly provide better patient care.

The Role of the Pharmacist

Clinical pharmacists, for example, are in a unique position to lighten the workload, improve care quality and provide better support for the patient safely and effectively. With their extensive education, clinical pharmacists can help relieve the burden of chronic care management by taking a more active role in a patient’s health. This is especially relevant in a time when the healthcare industry is facing a shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs.)

More importantly, clinical pharmacists have an opportunity to develop relationships with patients to help educate and monitor their health to improve disease outcomes. As experts in medication therapy, clinical pharmacists are the ideal medication managers for patients with chronic conditions. Pharmacists can help patients better understand how to optimize and adhere to their medications and can further analyze and adjust care plans that will directly benefit patients’ health outcomes.

Activating the Clinical Pharmacist

Many clinical pharmacists are already actively part of a clinical staff team, but by tapping into their full skill sets, providers will start to see a shift in patient management. Some initials steps care teams should encourage clinical pharmacists to take are:

  • Participate in team meetings that proactively address patients’ needs
  • Be available for warm handoffs
  • Build relationships with patients, virtually and in person, to address their concerns and solve medication issues
  • Review patients’ full medical scope to better understand their needs, including a medication review
  • Work with PCPs and teams to provide alternative visit care
  • If your practice does not have clinical pharmacists, take the time to assess the gaps you need filled and build a business case to bring one on board.

Using Technology To Empower Pharmacists

Empowering clinical pharmacists with technology will further help them develop a stronger role within the care team while meeting the needs of their chronic care patients. Technology, like Rimidi’s platform for cardiometabolic condition management that combines patient-generated data with relevant clinical data, are crucial to addressing gaps in chronic care plans and identifying at-risk patients.

With Rimidi, pharmacists are able to stay connected to their patients and share patient information across organizations to deliver a more efficient cycle of care between team members and patients. In addition, pharmacists will be able to utilize the Rimidi platform to visualize the impacts of recommended treatment plans, be alerted in real-time to change in a patient’s health and will be able to make adjustments to treatment plans depending on patients’ medical histories and disease progression. This will be particularly beneficial for patients with multiple chronic conditions, as pharmacists can use all the different views on Rimidi’s platform, including CVD, Fatty Liver Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Heart Failure to monitor their patients’ progress.

While pharmacists are not a panacea to chronic care management, they are capable of improving patient engagement and treatment effectiveness. By incorporating technology like Rimidi’s platform, pharmacists will further transform our healthcare system, making it more efficient for both patients and providers.

To learn more about Rimidi’s platform and how to deliver a more efficient cycle of care, contact a member of our team today.