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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000 Dec 15;57 Suppl 4:S30-4.

Implementation of a drug therapy monitoring clinic in a primary-care setting.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy/Primary Care, Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Ft. Sill, OK 73503, USA. DRJill.Yanchick@CEN.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL


The development and implementation of a drug therapy monitoring clinic in the primary-care clinics of a military hospital are described. To improve patient care and decrease costs associated with treating chronic diseases, in August 1995 the pharmacy department established a drug therapy monitoring clinic. The clinic was responsible for initiating and monitoring treatment plans for patients with chronic diseases, implementing clinical guidelines, providing educational programs, collecting and analyzing outcome data, and handling requests for medication extensions. Treatment followed existing national standards and Department of Defense guidelines modified for the institution. The clinic began with one clinical pharmacy specialist, and within a year it added another clinical pharmacist and a technician. The clinic first obtained patients via consultations from providers in primary care; this was soon extended to all departments. In addition, the pharmacist was available to see walk-in patients needing medication extensions. Later, referrals came for inpatients and patients seen in the emergency room for asthma or diabetes mellitus, as well as for inpatients receiving oral anticoagulation therapy. For fiscal year 1999, the clinic saw 104 (+/- 44.3) patients per month seeking medication extensions. It also handled 24,873 clinical interventions that year, resulting in projected annual savings of $1,085,560. Chart review indicated that compliance with national standards improved dramatically for patients with diabetes mellitus or asthma followed by pharmacists compared with physician monitoring during the same period and before the clinic began. The wait time for reviewing laboratory results and for patients receiving anticoagulation therapy was eliminated, and doses were changed immediately, if needed. A comprehensive pharmacist-managed drug therapy monitoring clinic for outpatients with chronic diseases can result in positive patient outcomes and more cost-effective care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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