Pharmacy & Therapeutics Society: PANEL DISCUSSION

In: Health

18 May 2010

The P&T Society’s Response to the Institute of Medicine’s Reports

Moderator: Joseph Eichenholz, Managing Director, Tri-genesis Management Systems, Chatham, New Jersey. (See Mr. Eichenholz’ overview on page 439.)

Speaker: Michael B. Nichol, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, California

Patient safety and medical and medication errors are national concerns, as expressed by the IOM in its recent reports. The PTS formed a Task Force consisting of institutional and outpatient working group members to identify problem areas in medication management. The approach of the Task Force was to describe the existing processes that have resulted in medication errors, the most frequent type of error in health care. canadian antibiotics

The PTS report describes the opportunity for improvement, the practice of excellence, and the PTS perspective of what can be done differently tomorrow. There must be a change in the behavior of P&T committees, health care providers, and management in order to make the cultural change stick. At the outset, the Task Force had to address the problem; place it in an organizational context; and assess the magnitude and impor­tance of the problem.

The initial effort focused on specific diseases, assuming separate interests of inpatient versus outpatient settings. The Task Force then continued with concerns regarding P&T processes, with many inpatient and outpatient issues converging. Finally, it came full circle by examining the potential of process improvement, which is particularly relevant to selected chronic disease-management categories.

The Task Force realized that its concern was not all about hospitals and health plans. There were cross-setting sensitivities, with long-term care, particularly assisted-living settings that presented unique challenges. Correctional health care includes every management model—from privatized prisons with jails to directly managed systems—and includes every health care service financing and management model as well as every pharmacy management model. cialis professional 20 mg

P&T committees, which traditionally meet, make formulary decisions, and adjourn, need to collaborate with providers and organizations on a regular basis. These committees should maintain ongoing staff resources and seek opportunities for educational intervention and collaboration.

The Task Force report was distributed to all PTS meeting attendees, the IOM, the Leapfrog Group, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The main area of concern in the report is a health literacy problem among patients, namely a difficulty in understanding what is needed for their care. Ninety million Americans face language barriers or have an inability to understand English.

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