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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Heart Failure Self-Management Kits for Outpatient Transitions of Care

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OBJECTIVE: To develop heart failure (HF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) self-management kits in an accountable care organization (ACO) to facilitate patients' self-care and prevent hospital readmissions.

SETTING: Pharmacists practice in an outpatient-based ACO. They participate in interprofessional office visits with providers and independently manage maintenance pharmacotherapies.

PRACTICE DESCRIPTION: Pharmacists collaborate with an interprofessional team within the ACO including physicians, nurses, case managers, and paramedics. Two commonly encountered diseases are chronic COPD and HF. Reducing preventable readmissions for these conditions are important quality benchmarks and cost-saving strategies.

PRACTICE INNOVATION: Pharmacists were responsible for developing HF and COPD self-management kits containing patient education materials and prescriptions to facilitate self-care. Prior to kit development, pharmacists performed a literature review to determine the presence of previously published findings on these topics.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: The interprofessional team continually evaluates the successes and limitations of this initiative. Pharmacists developed training and instructions for ACO allied health professionals in an effort to incorporate the self-management kits in clinical practice.

RESULTS: The initial literature search revealed no studies describing the intervention of interest. Innovative programs designed to help reduce preventable readmissions are lacking in primary care. Implementation of the self-management kits was accepted by interprofessional ACO leadership and is currently being integrated into allied health workflow.

CONCLUSION: Patients at risk for having an exacerbation of COPD or HF should receive self-management strategies. Prompt therapy prior to exacerbations reduces hospital admissions and readmissions, speeds recovery, and slows disease progression. Pharmacist-facilitated implementation of self-management kits may be developed by interprofessional health care teams.


Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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