(HealthDay)—A new American Medical Association (AMA) education module has been developed to help embed clinical pharmacists within a medical practice.
A free online AMA STEPS Forward module explores how to determine the pharmacy needs for a physician's health care team and how to identify the type of support needed for a practice. The module provides six steps for integration of pharmacists into the health care team.
Practices should identify the roles pharmacists or pharmacy technicians can play, which will vary depending on the patient population and needs of the health care team. Practices should decide whether they can benefit from including a pharmacist, or whether they could share the pharmacist with another practice. Practices should identify a pharmacist or pharmacy technician match, ideally someone who shares the practice's vision. The practice should set expectations for both patients and the health care team, designating a physician to explain the role of the pharmacist in enhancing health care. The resources that the pharmacist needs should be determined, as well as their impact on physician workflow. The impact of embedding a pharmacist should be measured, with various methods available for measuring this impact.
"Strategies such as embedding a clinical pharmacist within the practice and building a collaborative relationship with a community retail pharmacist can provide what is missing to get better results for patients," according to the AMA.
Explore further: Increased role of pharmacists—safer medication use