Pharmacies are also playing a bigger part in collaborative care models. For example, Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque, Iowa, reduced readmission rates among their high-risk patients through close collaboration with Mercy Family Pharmacy, a community-based organization within the Mercy Health Network.
Josh Feldmann, co-director of Mercy Family Pharmacy, said that whenever a patient with multiple chronic conditions is admitted to the hospital, they're almost immediately connected with a team of pharmacists from Mercy Family Pharmacy who track their progress for the duration of their stay. The pharmacists spend several hours at the hospital each day, meeting with individual patients, discussing medication compliance, and exploring possible solutions to any barriers they might face to taking their medications after discharge. Finally, when a patient does leave the hospital, the pharmacists follow up multiple times by calling or visiting them at home to check for adverse side effects and provide assistance as needed.
The benefits of a collaboration like this might vary between organizations depending on the patients served, but Mercy Medical's experience is impressive: Their high-risk patient readmission rate has dropped from the national average of around 35 percent to a current rate closer to 10 percent.