PHARMACY

NACDS launches online resource to aid states, pharmacies in optimizing care

BY Sandra Levy

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday announced the online “NACDS Optimizing Care Process Guide,” a resource for states, pharmacies and others seeking to increase patients’ access to clinical care delivered in community pharmacies.

The guide presents many of the educational resources that were created through the NACDS Optimizing Care Program. Through this program, the resources have helped to implement technician product verification models in three NACDS demonstration states — Iowa, Wisconsin and Tennessee. NACDS said that because of the success and potential of the models and materials, it is encouraging other states to use the guide to use the model more broadly.

“This initiative stands as part of a comprehensive approach to improve patient access to healthcare and appropriately position pharmacy as a healthcare destination,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “These efforts are essential in a constantly changing healthcare landscape, which is creating challenges that need to be met with innovations like optimization of care.”

The NACDS Optimizing Care Program expands the administrative duties of pharmacy technicians to better support medication dispensing through technician product verification. This gives pharmacists more time to provide such clinical services as medication adherence counseling, chronic care programs, medication optimization, screenings, immunizations, among others. As demonstrated by research, this model maintains patient safety and does not remove pharmacists from any aspects of clinical decision-making, nor does it reduce pharmacists’ time in the pharmacy, but rather redirects their time toward more clinically meaningful patient care activities.

The “NACDS Optimizing Care Process Guide” presents actionable insights for:

  • Defining and committing to the purpose for optimizing care;
  • Leveraging lessons learned from others;
  • Fostering collaboration and gathering partners;
  • Determining readiness to implement technician product verification;
  • Preparing the pharmacy team; and
  • Implementation and ongoing refinement.

The “NACDS Optimizing Care Process Guide” also builds on a report released in July 2018 by the University of Pittsburgh, Pharmacy Technician Role Expansion: An Evidence-Based Paper. The University of Pittsburgh worked with NACDS members and
other experts within an advisory group to develop the white paper, the organization said.

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