Berwick says pharmacy central to health care team

I’m glad to be back from the Thanksgiving holiday.

At today’s CMS public conference concerning the Community-Based Care Transitions Program, our own Kristina Lunner asked CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, a question about including pharmacists in transitions of care. In response, Berwick said pharmacy is central to the health care team and was thoroughly supportive, Lunner reported in e-mails from the meeting.

In addition, Lunner said she thanked a panel with representatives from organizations that have transitions of care programs, many of which address medications and use pharmacists, and asked them to consider using community pharmacists once patients leave their facility. She said several of them agreed, and many are already doing it—an interesting model involves a Walgreens at a hospital providing bedside services—and strongly agreed that meds are a critical issue and pharmacy is a critical player.

That reminded me of a good friend who is working for a large organization now on promoting their services upstream to the bedside so patients go home to find the right meds already there.

Good stuff. Transitions of care represent major opportunities for pharmacists to contribute.