Clinical Pharmacists: Are Proactive Programs the Future?

I recently read an article in The Washington Post discussing the future of pharmacy— one in which a pharmacist exists within the pocket of every patient. While a tremendously noble goal, it got me thinking. This vision feels too reactive. Why should highly trained and passionate clinical specialists merely wait for patient to detect a problem? Why should it be up to the patient to initiate a conversation? After all, isn’t this what we are trying to fix in healthcare? Aren’t we attempting to evolve and move away from treating illnesses to promoting wellness? What if we flip the paradigm and instead consider a patient in the pocket of every pharmacist? Let me explain.

As the article described, clinical pharmacists are healthcare’s foremost prescription medication experts. They are equipped to accurately assess a patient’s medication regimen and provide consultative care to improve lives. No small order. However, the real constraint lies within their ability to provide patient consultations at scale. I’d like to think that’s where we (Aspen RxHealth) come in. We’ve created a technology-enabled service platform unlike anything the industry has seen, allowing pharmacists to work from home and directly connect with patients telephonically via a mobile application. Our Aspen Clinical Engine (ACE) analyzes medication utilization data and matches pharmacists to patients based on clinical and social factors such as age, disease state, language, and geographic location, and presents opportunities to optimize medication use directly to the pharmacist. From there, the pharmacist gets to choose which patients they would like to proactively connect with to streamline therapy, improve health literacy, and support more complete care. Our platform empowers the entire process—connecting, documenting, and monitoring appropriate medication use patterns.

A tech-enabled application matching medication experts with patients proactively, combined with clinical pharmacists’ advanced medication expertise, means that we’re often able to identify and correct medication errors before patients are ever aware of a problem.

Consider a tire pressure gauge. Most of us grew up keeping one handy in the glovebox at the ready, should we worry about having a flat.

Now consider cars with a built-in tire pressure readout.

Both systems provide the same information, however, the latter provides active and continuous monitoring – able to alert if your tires are under-inflated, potentially preventing a deadly accident. In the same vein, Aspen RxHealth’s technology platform coupled with our community of pharmacists provides a constant level of medication safety monitoring, ensuring patients across the nation are taking their medications at the right dose, at the right time, and in the right combination.

For years now, we’ve heard leading healthcare organizations talk of moving away from reactive models that treat people after they become unwell and instead working toward a proactive system focused on maintaining wellness and avoiding future adverse health events. By giving pharmacists the tools and technology to work from home while providing the consultative care for which they pursued the profession, Aspen RxHealth is leading the charge in flipping the pharmacy model – and the movement from reactive care to proactive care.

Written by David Medvedeff, chief executive officer and co-founder, Aspen RxHealth.

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