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Women’s College Hospital recognized by Accreditation Canada for leading practice submission

August 25, 2014

Women’s College Hospital (WCH) was recently recognized by Accreditation Canada for its leading practice submission about MedIntegrate, a unique program that incorporates community pharmacists into the process of medication reconciliation in an ambulatory setting, leading to better patient care and safety.

The submission detailed the evaluation of MedIntegrate in the Complex Care Clinic (CCC) at WCH, which took place from January to May 2013. The program was started as a pharmacy residency project for WCH pharmacist Marko Tomas. The project was a part of a larger research program in ambulatory care medication reconciliation led by Lisa McCarthy, pharmacy scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute.

The project evaluated the feasibility of obtaining and integrating a patient’s medication information into the patient-care process in an ambulatory setting. The information would be obtained through MedsCheck, a government-funded program that allows patients taking three or more medications, and patients with diabetes, to review all of their regularly taken medication with a pharmacist.

“Medication reconciliation is difficult to accomplish in an ambulatory setting for several reasons,” said McCarthy. “The first step involves compiling a comprehensive and accurate list of all the medications a patient is regularly taking. We wanted to find a way to do this that used existing resources with minimal changes to the clinic’s work flow.”

From January through May, first-time CCC patients were encouraged to complete a MedsCheck review prior to their initial appointment, either with their community pharmacist or at WCH’s full-service pharmacy, The PharmaCentre. Of 86 new CCC patients, 55 were eligible for MedsCheck and 54 patients consented to having their community pharmacy contacted with a request for review. Documentation was received for 21 of those patients and community pharmacists reported finding drug therapy problems with 12 patients.

Tomas found that medical residents reported saving almost eight minutes of appointment time with the information available in patients’ charts. These findings showed that it was feasible to integrate such a program into an ambulatory setting, with benefits for both patients and healthcare providers.

“WCH is committed to being a leader in ambulatory care,” said McCarthy. “The recognition and acceptance of our submission shows that we are finding creative solutions to issues we face in an ambulatory setting.”

To read the submission on the Canadian Pharmacists Journal website, click here.

Accreditation Canada
From left: Lisa McCarthy, pharmacy scientist, WCRI; Marko Tomas, pharmacist, WCH; Dr. Tina Borschel, staff internist and medical director, CACE Complex Care Clinic and Tom Brown, director, Pharmacy Services. Missing from photo: Natalie Crown, pharmacy clinician educator, WCH.
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