CDC publishes guidelines for collaborative practice agreements

Set of recommendations includes input from APhA Foundation

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a set of recommendations on collaborative practice agreements between pharmacists and physicians in an effort to improve healthcare quality, under a partnership with the American Pharmacists Association's philanthropic wing.

The new recommendations, from the CDC's Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, are directed at pharmacists, other healthcare providers, payers and decision-makers involved in collaborative practice agreements. A collaborative practice agreement is a formal agreement that allows a physician to refer a patient to a pharmacist for such specific patient care services as travel vaccinations.

"Research shows us that a patient's control of their blood pressure improves when their care is provided by a team of health professionals," said David Callahan, an official with the division. "This tool kit will play an invaluable role in allowing physicians and pharmacists to work together to give patients optimal care and save lives by controlling blood pressure."

The APhA Foundation provided advice for content based on its consortium on collaborative practice agreements and pharmacists' patient care services, which took place in January 2012. It also includes examples from three pharmacies that have found success in establishing stronger relationships between pharmacists and other providers.

"It was a pleasure to partner with the CDC to explore the meaningful implementation of collaborative practice agreements," APhA Foundation executive director Mindy Smith said. "The DHDSP at the CDC and the APhA Foundation have a common goal of improving people's health, and CPAs can help achieve that goal by solidifying collaborative, patient-focused healthcare teams in a variety of practice settings."

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