A technology-supported collaboration between a health plan and a community pharmacy to improve blood pressure control
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OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of a health plan and community pharmacy partnership to improve blood pressure control. SETTING: A midwestern health plan and a regional community pharmacy chain. PRACTICE INNOVATION: Health plan members with a hypertension diagnosis and attributed to the pharmacy chain based on prescription claims were invited to participate. Interested patients enrolled in the program at their pharmacies and were assigned a "smart card" for use with a blood pressure kiosk in the pharmacy. When the card was used at the kiosk, individual patient readings were linked directly to their electronic pharmacy record and an online patient portal. Pharmacists intervened with patients and prescribers as necessary to address adherence issues and adjust therapy as needed. EVALUATION: Before and after blood pressure readings were assessed to determine the impact of patient self-monitoring and pharmacist intervention for patients with 1) uncontrolled blood pressure at first reading and 2) multiple readings throughout the pilot period. RESULTS: Fifty-six of 276 eligible patients (20%) were enrolled in the program. Fourteen patients qualified for before and after assessments, having uncontrolled blood pressure on initial reading and multiple readings throughout the pilot. These patients demonstrated a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 12 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 8 mm Hg. Nine of 16 eligible pharmacy locations enrolled patients at their sites. Challenges faced in the initiative included gaining adequate pharmacist and patient engagement. CONCLUSION: The pilot demonstrated promising early results in a model that has potential to improve blood pressure monitoring and management in a community pharmacy setting.
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