For pharmacists integrating on primary care teams, study offers insight

A new research paper published online February 19 in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association may provide pharmacists with some clues on how to successfully integrate into a primary care physician practice.

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with pharmacy leaders at 12 nonacademic, outpatient primary care physician practices in the United States where pharmacists were sustainable members of the health care team.

One key takeaway was that financially sustainable integration of the pharmacist on the team involved the use of a combination of fee-for-service and value-based incentive payments. Organizations that participated in the research were a blend of single- and mixed-payer models in integrated and nonintegrated health systems.

Other key takeaways from the research include

  • Pharmacists are integrated and valuable members of the health care team.
  • Pharmacists are documenting in an accessible electronic health record.
  • Data tracking is a facilitator for justifying and adapting practice.
  • Systematized processes for pharmacist integration exist in each practice.
  • Pharmacists’ responsibilities on the team have grown and evolved over time.