Retrospective analysis of drug therapy problems identified with a telephonic appointment-based model of medication synchronization

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Medication Adherence, Medication Therapy Management, Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions, Professional Practice, Pharmacies, Community Pharmacy Services, Pharmacists, United States


Objectives: To describe the drug therapy problems (DTPs) identified for patients enrolled in an Appointment Based Model (ABM) for medication synchronization, describe the pharmacist-delivered clinical interventions, and assess what patient characteristics are associated with the number of DTPs identified.

Methods: A cross-sectional chart review of 1 month of pharmacist notes for telephone ABM encounters at one independent community pharmacy in the Midwest U.S. was performed for a systematic random sample of patients active in the program during September 2017. Included patients were 18 years and older and took one or more synchronized medications. Data included months in the program, gender, age, insurance type, refill interval, medications (synchronized and total), DTP category, and intervention category. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and a multiple linear regression tested the association between patient characteristics and the number of DTPs identified.

Results: The study involved 209 subjects, 54% women, with a mean age of 69.5 years and. The average number of medications synchronized was 4.7, the mean total number of medications was 6.3, and mean length of time in the program was 20 months. The DTPs (n=334) identified included needs additional drug therapy (43.1%), inappropriate adherence (31.4%), unnecessary drug therapy (15.0%), and adverse drug reaction (9.6%). The regression showed age and number of medications was positively associated with number of DTPs identified, but months enrolled was not.

Conclusions: This ABM approach identified several hundred DTPs with corresponding interventions within a one-month period, suggesting that ABMs have a significant potential to improve patient care. The data also suggest that pharmacist interventions within an ABM program are valuable beyond the first few fills as patients move into maintenance use of their medications, especially for patients of advancing age and polypharmacy.

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