Pharmacy services have evolved along with the nomenclature we use to describe them. Once referred to as “drug use control”, pharmacy services were then referred to as “pharmaceutical care” in the 1990s. The difference being was that pharmaceutical care took into account a greater responsibility for the pharmacist over patients’ drug-related therapeutic outcomes, and was less about a series of services provide, per se. This has evolved into “medication therapy management (MTM)” and “comprehensive medication review (CMR)”, names suggesting and defined to denote even greater accountability not only for individuals but for entire populations of patients. Without proper management of human, financial, operational, technological, and other resources, MTM becomes all but impossible to implement and sustain.
Populations at-risk include those who are financially vulnerable, who face health care disparities, who live in underserved areas, have multiple comorbidities, and/or otherwise have difficulty in acquiring health care services. Effective pharmacy management does indeed recognize the needs of the business operation and the needs of populations of patients concurrently. Truong et al employed successful management strategies on several fronts to implement an MTM program for underserved populations The Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative (PSPC) is a national quality improvement initiative sponsored by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) aimed to save and enhance thousands of lives per year. As part of a team in this program, the investigators used documentation and outcomes tracking tools (MTM-DOTT) to facilitate medication safety, provider communication, and continuity of care. After all, if it is not documented, it didn’t happen! The article provides substantial detail on the use of the MTM-DOTT tools.
Pharmacy managers understand that often what is good for the patient is likewise good for the business. They do not see the business of pharmacy and the provision of care as diametrically opposing forces. They are able to mingle the two for effective and sustainable practice.
Additional information about The Management in Medication Therapy Management can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Truong HA, Groves CN, Brennan H, Botchway R, et al. Interprofessional collaborative model for medication therapy management (MTM) services to improve health care access and quality for underserved populations. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012;23 (3 Suppl):114-124.