Bringing Pharmacies to the Table: Carilion Engages Pharmacists in Care Transitions Initiative

March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014

​All too often, pharmacists are left out of efforts to improve healthcare quality or community health. However, Carilion Clinic Health System, serving more than a million patients in the Southwest region of Virginia, is bringing pharmacists to the table as key partners in a new initiative focused on reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions.

In the spring of 2012, Carilion New River Valley Medical Center was awarded funding through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), an initiative led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The $4.2 million grant provides financial support over three years to test the effectiveness of an innovative strategy for addressing the medication needs of patients. Carilion Clinic was the only healthcare hospital system in Virginia that was awarded innovation funding.

According to William T. Lee D.Ph, MPA, FASCP, pharmacy system director of Carilion Clinic, the project allows participating pharmacists to access Carilion’s electronic health record (EHR) system. The Initiative for Increasing Healthcare to At-Risk Patients (IHARP) targets 4,000 patients living in rural areas served by Carilion and its affiliated practices. Access to medical records is limited to only those patients who agree to participate in the program.

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