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February is American Heart Month, which is the perfect opportunity for providers to find new ways to care for their patients who may need more heart-centric health coaching and service. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association’s 2018 statistics, and it’s time to empower providers with the knowledge and resources necessary to change the future of heart health.
As one of the most accessible healthcare providers, independent pharmacists can greatly affect the outcomes of their patients with cardiovascular problems. With the right tools at hand, pharmacists can implement strategic methods that improve their patients’ wellbeing, starting with basic steps and working towards larger, more impactful practices.
You may already have a patient or two in mind who is struggling with heart-related conditions, or staying adherent to their prescribed therapies that keep their issues at bay. However, you probably have many patients who could benefit from additional care from their pharmacy. A narrowed-down list of these patients will give you an idea of how many experience cardiovascular problems, which can jumpstart some creative strategies to approach their care.
PioneerRx Pro Tip: PioneerRx users can automatically sort patients, items, or prescribers with Categories. Categories can be broad (find every patient who is taking a statin), or specific (find every male patient over 65 taking a statin). A practical use for this feature is compiling a list of patients with diabetes, then checking to make sure they have all been prescribed a statin and are adherent to it. Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, which CMS has acknowledged with its 2019 Medicare Part D Star Ratings updates.
After you have narrowed down a list of target patients, you can begin organizing a strategy to enhance your interactions with them. One way is through system alerts that prompt you to perform a certain action with your patient while they are in the pharmacy, or set a specified time to follow-up with them.
PioneerRx Pro Tip: With PioneerRx, you can create Rx Edits that consider multiple pieces of category criteria. This can help you identify therapy issues that may be easily overlooked in busy workflow. For example, an Rx Edit can automatically identify a patient over 65 years of age with poor adherence, whose primary insurance provider is a Part D plan, who is filling a high-risk medication. Rx Edits can be displayed at the most applicable workflow step to reduce warning fatigue and provide information at the most effective point. In this scenario, the Rx Edit can alert the user when the patient picks up his or her prescription. The Rx Edit can advise pharmacist consult or offer a supplemental product.
With eCare Plans still on the rise (and for good reason), they are the best strategy for planning, executing, and documenting all the enhanced care you most likely give away for free. Setting heart-centric Care Goals will benefit your patients who need high-touch care, and they prove your value to providers and payers.
PioneerRx Pro Tip: Our eCare Plan functionality gives you near-limitless options for creating custom, actionable steps towards your patients’ health goals. Within a Care Plan, you can set Care Goals that are achieved through documented Actions. For American Heart Month, you can begin enrolling patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes into system-generated Care Plans that can monitor adherence, record Lab results, and keep track of all the interactions you have with the patient that relate to lowering their blood pressure.
No matter what skill level you’re comfortable with, there is always something “more” you can do for your patients beyond filling their prescriptions. Occasions like American Heart Month are year-round opportunities to find creative approaches to the problems independent pharmacists are equipped to solve.