The new Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy is invested in being an agent of change in healthcare delivery. The School hosted MCW's inaugural Pharmacy Symposium in June, focusing on emerging and new pharmacy practice models.
Four pharmacists from throughout the US – Daniel Buffington, PharmD, MBA; Diane K. Reist, PharmD, RPh; Gary Matzke, PharmD; and William Lee, MA, RPh – shared their experiences implementing innovative, team-based care models. The speakers highlighted the role pharmacists can play within interdisciplinary care teams to improve patient outcomes, as well as new models of care that include collaborative practice; they also addressed the financial considerations of these models of care.
The symposium attracted a wide audience consisting of pharmacists, pharmacy residents, physicians, administrators, MCW Trustees and community leaders.
The consensus of the speakers was that the future of healthcare lies in team-based practice models, with the pharmacist involved as a direct patient care provider. "In fact, all of what we look at as advanced or alternate practice models, really require the skills that a pharmacist brings as a specialist over medication management and clinical pharmacology to the practice setting," remarked Dr. Buffington.
The goal of these practice models included improving patient access and reducing overall healthcare costs by preventing unnecessary readmissions and emergency room visits in patients with one or more chronic diseases and in transitional care. "We were really focusing on trying to reduce readmissions, but we actually reduced the length of stay and reduced the cost of care while the patient was still in the hospital," noted Dr. Reist.
In concluding remarks, George MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, Founding Dean of the School of Pharmacy, stated, "Many of the concepts described in the Symposium, are planned for incorporation into the Pharmacy School doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum."
– Michelle Schaefer
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