Eighteen months ago, 11 pharmacist-led health care teams set out to implement innovative, cost-saving solutions in order to improve patient outcomes through comprehensive medication management.
Their efforts were undertaken as part of a pilot program, called the Concordia Medication Management Accelerator, led by Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy and Batterman School of Business, with financial support from The Dohmen Company.
On Friday, Nov. 16, the program culminated with a showcase event on Concordia’s Mequon campus, where the participants shared and celebrated their achievements over the past year and a half.
The teams targeted an assortment of subpopulations, including patients with diabetes, refugees, or those with chronic pain, and found varying levels of success.
Reedsburg Area Medical Center, for example, implemented a diabetes care program for staff that utilized components such as an empowerment education program, monthly visits with a health and fitness coordinator, and quarterly comprehensive medication management visits with a pharmacist.
The team set out to address the diabetes patient subpopulation after recognizing their organization was spending just under $1 million in a year, which amounted to an estimated $18,500 in 2017 for each of its 52 members with diabetes.
Through the program, however, Reedsburg patients began to meet and exceed goals set for weight loss, blood pressure, and other risk factors. The CMMA team estimates they can achieve a 278 percent return on investment over three years through further expansion of the program.
“We were excited to participate in CMMA and to find the results that we did,” said Rochelle Green, continuing education coordinator for Reedsburg. “It was extremely helpful to have another set of eyes outside of our organization to help us hone our approach and keep us on target.”
In addition to Reedsburg, the participating CMMA teams represented medical organizations throughout Wisconsin including Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, Ascension St. Joseph, Aurora Health Care, Evergreen Pharmacy, Hayat Pharmacy, Marshfield Clinic Health System, and Monroe Clinic. Eight of the 11 teams participated in the service accelerator track, meant for health care organizations, primary care clinics, health systems, or pharmacies working to adopt comprehensive medication management within their organizations. The other three participated in the startup track, for the creation of new, Wisconsin-based businesses focused on providing CMM services.
A year before the showcase event, the teams competed in a live pitch event held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center as part of Startup Wisconsin Week. While only five of the CMMA teams were awarded nearly $60,000 in funding, all were invited to continue on with the program to implement their innovations within their workplaces.
The teams also received coaching from the nationally renowned non-profit Alliance for Integrated Medication Management and were held accountable through regular meetings. Over the course of the 18 months, CMMA fostered more than 14 one-on-one coaching sessions, 11 monthly or bi-monthly “all team” webinars, and five bi-annual face-to-face meetings.
“It was about the accountability that we had to one another and about inspiring commitment,” said Andrew Traynor, PharmD, BCPS, the program’s organizer and chair of pharmacy practice within CUW’s School of Pharmacy.
Even though the Nov. 16 event marked the conclusion of the CMMA, Traynor says he hopes the program will be an impetus for bigger change.
“Today is a celebration, but more can be done,” Traynor told those gathered on Friday. “The sharing today is just a part of the conversation. We’re hoping it will light a spark for better health care throughout the state of Wisconsin.”
Learn more about Concordia’s School of Pharmacy at www.cuw.edu/pharmacy.
— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-243-2149.
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