By Ashley Turk, Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy
Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy is excited to announce that we have launched a National Institutes of Health study at our pharmacy named: The Impact of Pharmacist Led Care Coordination on Diabetes Self-Management Patient Reported Outcomes. Our study was launched May 19, 2017 and is off to a great start. Unfortunately, Alabama is the only state currently in the United States that does not have collaborative practice. Collaborative practice is defined by the American Pharmacist Association as: “a formal relationship between pharmacists and physicians or other providers that allow for expanded services the pharmacist can provide to patients and the healthcare team.’’ In order to gain this privilege, it is important to have studies such as this one to prove that patients truly do have better outcomes when their pharmacist and physician are in direct communication with one another.
Every five weeks, we get a new fourth-year pharmacy student from Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy here at Ozanam. Each student will play a key role in different phases of the study. Currently, Ashley Turk is helping us launch the study and is enrolling patients as they come in and out of the pharmacy. Enrollment involves screening patients via a quick survey. In order to qualify for the study, a patient must meet two specific criteria. They must be diagnosed with Pre-diabetes or Diabetes and secondly they must be a patient at the Mobile County Health Department. An incentive for patients to participate is that they will receive a fifteen-dollar Visa gift card at their first visit, and could be eligible for future gift cards depending on what treatment group they are randomly assigned to.
The study is well fit for our pharmacy. Ozanam already had a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program in place, and this was our fourth year pharmacy student’s responsibility prior to initiating the study. We also often see a lot of patients with diabetes, due to the population we see here at Ozanam. In the study, there will be three treatment groups, and patients will be randomly assigned to each group. Patients in group one will receive a blood glucose meter, strips, and lancets in order to monitor their blood glucose levels. Group two patients will receive these supplies, but they will also meet with the pharmacy student or pharmacist every 4 weeks to learn more about managing their diabetes. Each of these sessions will have a different focus. Lastly, patients in group 3 will receive the supplies, the education every 4 weeks, and the student pharmacist and/or pharmacist will be communicating with the patient’s provider at the Mobile Health Department. Group three is where we will be focusing in on collaborative practice. Outcomes will be measured by having our patients take an additional survey prior to the first visit, and then that same survey will be given after their last visit. This survey will ask questions about their current health, how confident they feel about their current health, and their opinion about their providers.
We are excited to have this study up and running, but this study would not be possible without the help of many individuals. We want to thank those who have helped build the back bone for the study and those who are helping day in and day out make this a success. This is a step towards helping our state can gain collaborative practice, while also allowing our patients to receive the care they deserve which goes hand in hand with better patient outcomes.
Thank you to:
Alethea Hill, PhD, ACNP-BC, ANP-BC
Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, PhD
Heather Finnegan, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow
Donald Ponquinette, Pharm D.
Marlena Kelley, Pharm D.
Yoko Allen, MPH
Our Fourth Year Students