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Pharmacists and the Health Care Team
Here at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Annual Meeting in Seattle, a hot topic is the role of the pharmacist on health care teams. A keynote speaker yesterday was Dr. Marie Smith, who spoke about Pharmacists: Key Members of Community-Based Health Teams. This was a timely presentation. Dr. Smith was the lead author in an article published in the November 2013 issue of the journal Health Affairs, along with physician David Bates, "Pharmacists Belong in Accountable Care Organizations and Accountable Care Teams".
At the Closing General Session of the meeting today, Jeannie K. Lee will be presented with the CCGP 2013 Excellence in Geriatric Pharmacy Practice Award. Dr. Lee was the lead author of a systematic review and meta-analysis of the performance of U. S. geriatric pharmacists on healthcare teams. Twenty studies were included in the final analysis, conducted mostly in ambulatory clinics and inpatient hospital settings. The authors concluded: "Pharmacist intervention has favorable effects on therapeutic, safety, hospitalization, and adherence outcomes in older adults. Pharmacists should be involved in team-based care of older adults." The article was published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
It is not just pharmacists that are talking about team-based care. The American College of Physicians has released a position paper on clinical care teams. This paper recognizes pharmacists as part of the clinical care team. It is good to know that physician colleagues are supportive of having pharmacists as part of the team. As the complexity of drug therapy increases, and the number of older adults continues to grow in the coming years, the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist will be an increasingly important part of the clinical care team in a variety of patient care settings.
Thomas R. Clark, RPh, MHS, CGP
Executive Director, CCGP
Promoting Excellence in Geriatric Health Care through Education and Certification