Kearney Clinic is partnering with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Walgreens, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and Nebraska Health Information Initiative to introduce a new treatment model for patients with hypertension and type-2 diabetes.
The two-year program is funded by a National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation grant and seeks to increase communication between community pharmacists and physicians in an effort to improve patient care.
The study will look at what happens after a patient visits their doctor at Kearney Clinic. Walgreens pharmacists will fill prescriptions for program participants and provide a comprehensive medication review to address any patient questions or concerns, identify possible interactions and help improve adherence.
The program will track participants' activity and progress. Pharmacists will offer free blood pressure testing each time medications are picked up and track those results for each patient. They will also notify the patient's doctor if refills are picked up late or not at all.
The project will utilize NeHII, a statewide bilateral information sharing portal, which will allow physicians and community pharmacists to safely and easily share data across clinical settings.
"This collaboration takes the clinical and practical relationship to a whole new level by helping to create a key communication stream," said Donald Klepser, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UNMC College of Pharmacy and the study's primary investigator. "It's a more economical utilization of health care resources – and takes better advantage of a pharmacist's expertise."
"It's research like this that will inform and shape how we practice," said Ken Shaffer, M.D., pediatrician at Kearney Clinic. "We hope this exciting project will further improve the health and outcomes of our patients."