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Advancing Patient Care through Innovative Practice: The Clinical Partners Program

Bella H. Mehta, Pharm.D., Jennifer L. Rodis, Pharm.D., Milap C. Nahata, Pharm.D., Marialice S. Bennett, B.S.Pharm.

 

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
Columbus, Ohio

 

Purpose

Established in 1996, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy Clinical Partners Program has been a change agent in the provision of innovative ambulatory care services. The clinic is an active learning environment for students and residents, offers a patient-focused practice model based on pharmaceutical care principles, and serves as an arena for applied research in ambulatory and community pharmacy practice.

Description of the Program

Clinical Partners is a pharmacist-managed ambulatory clinic located in the outpatient clinic building. Services developed at the site include practice in the areas of anticoagulation, asthma, cholesterol, compliance, diabetes, hepatitis C, herbal and dietary supplements, medication management, smoking cessation, and wellness. The most successful methods of reimbursement for programs have been 1) contracted services with OSU Managed Health Care Systems Inc. to serve OSU faculty and staff and 2) for non-OSU patients, a fee-for-service charged directly to the patient. The practice is staffed by two College of Pharmacy faculty with a total of 0.8 FTE and a community pharmacy resident who spends 65% of her time at the site. It has served as a training site for 16 pharmacy residents, 28 undergraduate pharmacy students, 30 postgraduate Pharm.D. students, and 126 entry-level Pharm.D. students at various levels of training.

Experience with the Program

Clinical Partners has consistently shown improved therapeutic outcomes compared with traditional practice. In 2002, the INR compliance rate for our anticoagulation management service was 63%, compared with 38% within The Ohio State University Medical Center using conventional care. Our local results from participation in the APhA Foundation’s Project Impact: Hyperlipidemia showed that 69% of our patients were within 10% of their LDL goal, and our medication rates demonstrated 100% medication persistence and 96% medication compliance. Preliminary aggregate results from the APhA Foundation’s Patient Self-Management: Diabetes program illustrate a 1% reduction in hemoglobin A1c and a 26% increase in patients meeting a hemoglobin A1c goal of ≤ 7%. Impact on patient satisfaction and quality of life are being measured in our hepatitis C program and results will be submitted for publication. Over the years, pharmacists at the Clinical Partners program have had a positive impact on the health outcomes of hundreds of patients.

Conclusion

Drawing from its rich history of experience, Clinical Partners anticipates a bright future as we continue to advance patient care through innovative practice, education, and research.