Bon Secours Mercy Health has been partnering with the Center for Pharmacy Practice Innovation since before either of them even had those names – back when the center was founded in 2015 as the Center for Pharmacy Practice Transformation and Bon Secours Mercy Health was Bon Secours Health System, Inc., Bon Secours Medical Group.

Currently, there are three joint projects in the works that focus on the importance of integrating pharmacists in the physician practice setting. One consists of comparing patient and population health outcomes in primary care clinics that have pharmacists embedded versus those that do not and identifying the specific pharmacist services that contribute to improved outcomes. The second uses the analysis of drug information requests received by primary care pharmacists to inform opportunities for training and active provision of drug information within the medical group. The third focuses on increasing translation of evidence-based diabetes care into clinical practice across the medical group.

Kerri Musselman, pharmacy director of ambulatory practice at Bon Secours Mercy Health, considers these projects important because they can help improve patient care.

“These projects are showing where pharmacists can contribute to the health care team and what types of impact pharmacists are making as a result of that team,” she said. “Pharmacist-led intervention groups allow us to identify the patients that will most benefit from pharmacist services, which will allow us to target those patient populations and scale the model across the entire ministry.”

Teresa Salgado, principle investigator on these projects and assistant director of CPPI, appreciates the partnership with Bon Secours Mercy Health because it enables real changes in pharmacy practice.

“The research we conduct in partnership with Bon Secours Mercy Health allows us to make changes to practice based on objective evidence and following highly rigorous scientific principles,” she said. “It is the advantage of academia-practice partnerships.”

One of the biggest benefits Musselman enjoys about the partnership is working with someone who has that academic connection and understands research.

“I really enjoy working with Teresa,” she said. “And I enjoy getting a fresh look on how pharmacists approach patient care and making sure we’re engaging the right patients at the right time.”

In future work with CPPI, she hopes to continue looking at opportunities to involve pharmacy across multiple states in other practice areas and ambulatory care.

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