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The partnership, called Optimizing Care Delivery, is a unique collaboration between an academic research center and a health system in North Carolina. The goal of the program is to develop, test and evaluate clinical pharmacy services that facilitates proactive, coordinated and connected care, especially for patients who manage chronic conditions.

Optimizing Care Delivery will allow pharmacists and physicians to work hand-in-hand to address unmet needs of their patients. Together, they will address the issues surrounding medication management at home; develop quality measurement tools to be used by pharmacists and physicians; bring in other partners in industry, insurance and research; and share best practices with the community.

“One big area of opportunity is to increase support services to the patient’s home, which improves engagement, health education and addresses social determinants of health. This could impact patient outcomes and lower costs over time. Imagine an elderly patient being able to stay in their home versus having to go to a nursing home,” said Jon Easter, director of the Center for Medication Optimization.

Often, Easter said complex patients face the reality of managing between 24-50 medications prescribed to them over the course of a year.

“With the increasing shift toward value care and the need to implement programs that demonstrate improved quality and outcomes, the partnership with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy will be important,” said Penny DeFalco from UNC Health Care’s Managed Pharmacy Solutions group. “We are very interested in the home care collaboration. By introducing Pharmacy Services as part of the UNC Health Care Home Health Care Team, we can help ensure patients are on the right medications, which can help prevent future hospital readmissions and utilization of other costly services.”

The team plans to closely measure the program’s development, implement support and research services, and provide strategic consultation to patients.


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