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Pharmacy College and AssureCare Tackle Medication Therapy

Pharmacy College and AssureCare Tackle Medication Therapy

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The University of Cincinnati (UC) James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy has partnered with AssureCare, a Cincinnati-based healthcare technology company, to develop a software platform to better coordinate patient information needed to optimize treatment for the millions of Americans who need Medication Therapy Management (MTM).

MTM is designed to identify and resolve drug therapy problems as they arise to assure the best possible health outcome for the patient. It is a continuum of care service most often employed when a patient has complex medical issues that require multiple medications.

With MTM quickly becoming a pharmacist-initiated service, a new software platform would allow pharmacists easier access to patient reports such as lab tests, physician and nurse notes and hospital or clinic services like endoscopies or x-rays, says Neil MacKinnon, PhD, dean of the Winkle College of Pharmacy.

"Pharmacists in some settings like hospitals and clinics typically have access to most of this information now, whereas pharmacists in other settings like community pharmacies do not, and collecting it requires time and can be cumbersome,” MacKinnon says, adding that the new software platform will streamline how pharmacists access the information to subsequently make recommendations or changes to drug therapies, thus significantly improving patient outcomes and lessening costs to both the patient and the healthcare system.

As reported by the Institute of Medicine, medication errors harm an estimated 1.5 million Americans annually. Other experts estimate the total annual cost of drug-related morbidity and mortality in the United States to be $177 billion.

Additionally, a paper published in 2015 in the journal Pediatrics (co-authored by MacKinnon), observed that a medication-related cause was found in one out of every 12 emergency department visits by pediatrics patients, of which two-thirds were deemed preventable. 

 "In all my healthcare experience I have found that pharmacists are the most underutilized healthcare professionals in America given the depth and breadth of their training. This solution will allow pharmacists to spend more quality time with patients, optimizing their medication therapy,” says Yousuf Ahmad, DrPH, president and CEO of AssureCare.

The platform will also be accessible to providers who can, in turn, access pharmacists’ recommendations, says MacKinnon.

The company is working in conjunction with the college and the University of Cincinnati Research Institute (UCRI) on the public/private collaboration. 

"This partnership will be a testament to how we can harness the talent of both organizations to develop a solution that addresses a major industry gap,” says Pat Limbach, PhD, vice president for research at UC and interim president and CEO of UCRI. 
 

 

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