CDC, APhA Create Guide for Community-Clinical Linkages

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Guide details two types of collaborative care models that involve pharmacists and physicians working together.
Guide details two types of collaborative care models that involve pharmacists and physicians working together.

HealthDay News -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Pharmacists Association have created a guide that describes community-clinical linkages, which are connections among the community, clinics, and other settings where primary care is provided, according to an article published in Drug Topics.

Two collaborative models of care are detailed: medication therapy management, which is a patient-centered collaboration designed to enhance patients' benefits from medication and achieve therapeutic goals, and collaborative drug therapy management, which is a more formal model in which pharmacists manage and monitor drug therapy to optimize patient outcomes and safety. Two barriers to collaborative care models are identified: One is that physicians and pharmacists traditionally worked separately from one another, resulting in difficulty even envisioning working together. The other is development of a working payment model.

To help guide the collaboration model, seven steps have been developed with the pneumonic device LINKAGE. The steps are: learning about the community and clinical sectors; identifying and engaging key stakeholders; negotiating and agreeing upon goals and objectives; knowing which operational structure should be implemented; aiming to coordinate and manage the linkage; growing the linkage, bearing in mind sustainability; and evaluating the linkage.

"Using these tools, both health care providers and patients could see more favorable health outcomes in the future," according to the article.

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