Q: What is a “Patient Self Management” program?

A: In 2003, the Institute of Medicine defined self-management support as “the systematic provision of education and supportive interventions by health care staff to increase patients’ skills and confidence in managing their health problems, including regular assessment of progress and problems, goal setting, and problem-solving support.” Simply stated, a "Patient Self Management Program" provides education so that patients become a more active part of their health care team. When patients become more involved in their health care, the result is that patients will be healthier and more compliant!

Q: What qualifies a pharmacist to coach patients?

A: Today, all graduating pharmacists receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from an accredited institution, which constitutes approximately six years of schooling. Many pharmacy graduates opt to complete a one to two year residency program, and some continue on to complete a fellowship in a specialized area of practice.

In addition to college, residencies and fellowships, many pharmacists complete certificate programs that focus on a specific chronic condition. LPIHO requires that any pharmacist participating in the program complete a certificate program for the chronic disease module(s) in which they wish to participate as a coach.

Q: How often does a patient meet with their pharmacist coach?

A: Visit frequency is as follows:

Diabetes Patient Self Management Program

  • Once a month for the first 6 months (each about 1 hour long), then quarterly (every 3 months) thereafter (each about 30 minutes long).

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program

  • Once a month for the first 4 months (each about 1 hour long), then quarterly (every 3 months) thereafter (each about 30 minutes long).

Q: What takes place at these visits?

A: Pharmacist coaches provide the following:

Initial visit: Review of the program guidelines, patient medical history, ensure functional medical equipment if needed (i.e. blood glucose monitor, home blood pressure monitor, etc.), and administer a knowledge exam. This exam is used only to see which areas patients are strong in and which areas the pharmacist should spend more time providing education.

Visits 2-6 (diabetes) & 2-4 (cardiovascular):

  • Pharmacist coach will educate on various topics:

        • Disease overview

        • Generally accepted standards of care (ADA, JNC7, ATP III, etc.)

        • General nutrition/healthy eating

        • Monitor use/monitoring

        • Medications/compliance/adherence counseling

        • Hypo-/hyperglycemia

        • Chronic complications/reducing risks

        • Smoking cessation

        • Exercise

        • Healthy coping/stress/depression

        • Review of guidelines/laboratory results/goal setting

        • Sexual health/erectile dysfunction

        • Sick day/travel/emergency preparedness

        • Problem solving

        • Follow-up

  • At the end of the monthly visits, before moving out to quarterly, coaches administer a skills and a performance assessment to assess patient’s retention of the education and techniques provided.

Ongoing visits (quarterly): Pharmacists will continue to review all recent lab work to help monitor and educate patients on their health goals. Pharmacists will be requesting these labs from physician offices accompanied by a signed patient consent form for release of PHI.

Q: What are the advantages of my patient participating in this program?

A: Your patient(s) will have a more in-depth understanding of their disease and related topics which translates into:

  • more productive questions asked at their office visits

  • a better understanding of your plan of care for them

  • increased therapy compliance

  • higher percentage of patients reaching their clinical goals

Q: How will the pharmacist coaches communicate my patient’s progress to me?

A: Each coach is trained to communicate with other members of a patient’s health care team:

  • After the initial visit via a letter notifying you of your patient’s enrollment and briefly describing the program

  • After every consecutive visit via fax a summary of the visit including any areas of concern and/or recommendations

Q: How can I ensure my plan of care will be followed?

A: Along with the initial letter, the pharmacist coach will also fax a Target Release form that asks you to identify specific goals for your patient for the pharmacist to follow. Pharmacist coaches welcome physician/HCP input at anytime.

Q: How can I find out the program’s outcomes?

A: Please check the “Program Results” section of our website.

Q: How does LPIHO keep physicians in the area updated on the program?

A: In Lancaster County, LPIHO and the Lancaster County Business Group on Health meet bi-annually with the Lancaster Medical Society. LPIHO is always open to meet with any physician office or organization to present program information.

Do you have questions or concerns that were not addressed here?

If so, please contact a member of LPIHO’s Care Team

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