To define the joint principles of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and describe the integration of pharmacists into a PCMH.
Family medicine residency training program in North Carolina from 2001 to 2011.
Mountain Area Health Education Family Health Center is a family medicine residency training program that is part of the North Carolina Area Health Education Center system. The goal of the organization is to train and retain health care students and residents. The practice is recognized as a level III PCMH by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and seeks to provide quality, safe, patient-centered care according to the joint principles of PCMH. Pharmacists, nurses, nutritionists, care managers, Spanish translators, and behavioral medicine specialists work collaboratively with physicians to provide seamless, comprehensive care.
The Department of Pharmacotherapy is embedded in the family medicine clinic. Three pharmacists and two pharmacy residents are involved in providing direct patient care services, ensuring access to community resources, assisting patients with transitions of care, providing interprofessional education, and participating in continuous quality improvement initiatives. The pharmacists serve as clinical pharmacist practitioners and provide medication therapy management services in a pharmacotherapy clinic, anticoagulation clinics, and an osteoporosis clinic and via an inpatient family medicine service. Multiple learners such as student pharmacists, pharmacy residents, and family medicine residents rotate through the various pharmacy clinics to learn about pharmacotherapeutic principles and the role of the pharmacist in PCMH.
PCMH is a comprehensive, patient-centered, team-based approach to population management in the primary care setting. Pharmacists play a vital role in PCMH and make fundamental contributions to patient care across health care settings. Such innovations in the ambulatory care setting create a unique niche for pharmacists to use their skills.