Best practices in care transitions: Eight programs announced

Medication Management in Care Transitions a joint project of APhA, ASHP


In the second phase of Medication Management in Care Transitions (MMCT), the project announced on October 19 their top eight picks for best practices involving pharmacists in the care transitions process.

The first phase of the joint project between the pharmacy organizations was releasing a white paper, Improving Care Transitions: Optimizing Medication Reconciliation, in March.

“This second phase was conducted to provide information to stakeholders on successful models that are emerging throughout the country where pharmacists are actively involved in addressing this important issue,” said James A. Owen, PharmD, BCPS, APhA Senior Director of Professional Practice.

“Improving care transitions and reducing hospital readmissions are key provisions within the Affordable Care Act,” said Marcie Bough, PharmD, APhA Senior Director of Government Affairs. “We are working with the CMS Innovation Center Partnership for Patients program and its hospital engagement networks to find the best ways to share the successful models identified in the project. Sharing the information is important to networks of providers and hospitals so that they can learn from existing programs as they implement programs in their own settings.”

Launched in January 2012 and a joint project between APhA and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), MMCT focuses on identifying and profiling existing best practice models that can be scaled up to facilitate broad adoption, according to the joint news release. In a final report scheduled for release and broad distribution in December, MMCT will highlight key elements from these successful programs, describe implementation barriers, and recommend strategies for addressing these barriers.

Chosen from 82 programs in a stringent, competitive process, the eight programs judged to be best practices are Einstein Healthcare Network, Froedtert Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mission Hospitals, Sharp HealthCare, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics.

“Medication reconciliation is an integral part of the care transitions process in which health care professionals collaborate to improve medication safety as the patient transitions between patient care settings or levels of care,” Owen told “Each health care professional may have a different role in the process, but the overall focus of medication reconciliation is on global patient safety and improved patient outcomes.”

Owen continued, “Pharmacists can contribute to improving this process using a standardized framework of service delivery defined in the context of medication therapy management. Models are emerging where pharmacists are actively engaging in new roles in care transitions to address the issues associated with medication use problems during the care transitions process.” 

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