HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. and PITTSBURGH, Oct. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Four Seasons, a nationally recognized innovator in hospice and palliative care, has been awarded a two-year telehealth grant from the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). This grant will enable Four Seasons to evaluate the impact on patients and providers of integrating a virtual pharmacist into a telehealth model when caring for people with serious illness in rural western North Carolina.
This study will build on the pilot project previously implemented at Four Seasons as part of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Care Innovation award. This new platform, called ADAPT HealthTM, is powered by the TapCloud application and is offered by Delta Care Rx, a well-known pharmacy benefit provider that works with hospice and palliative care providers, with a long-standing relationship with Four Seasons. ADAPT Health will have the ability to interface with the electronic medical record, allowing for inter-collaborative practice in which the pharmacist will identify drug-to-drug interactions, recommend appropriate deprescribing, educate on the risks/benefits of new medications, and track side effects from new medications. Michelle Mikus, VP of Pharmacy Services with Delta Care Rx, says, "The pharmaceutical care we are providing via the ADAPT Health program serves patients with advanced illness using technology that is easy to use and practical. Remote patient care and telehealth in general are a part of the future of healthcare, especially in rural patient populations. Incorporating pharmacists with other interdisciplinary team members and patients continues to improve outcomes through education and collaboration."
Clinicians will review pharmacy recommendations and will use e-prescribing as indicated for any medication changes. Patient and caregiver education will occur through virtual pharmacy sessions via ADAPT Health's video and messaging capabilities. Patient's will "tap in" their symptoms daily using the remote patient monitoring module and this information will be monitored by both the pharmacist and the clinicians, which is especially important after medication changes. All patient health information remains secure and encrypted within the application. The use of telehealth in hospice and palliative medicine allows patients and care teams to better communicate about healthcare concerns and needs and improves response times to patient needs especially in rural areas with little access to healthcare options. The addition of a pharmacist to this care team is unique and one that has the potential to significantly affect care in a seriously ill population. Janet Bull, the Principal Investigator on the project, says, "Pharmacists add tremendous value in identifying harmful medication interactions and providing education to both clinician and patients. Using virtual technology within a remote patient monitoring application can easily be scaled to those with serious illnesses who are too sick to leave their home settings."
"Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration… the impact of many is greater than the impact of one," said Reginald Nichols, MAC, MSN, NP-C, Four Seasons Regional Director of Palliative Care. "Having a natural flow of care for patients through which medications are reviewed and changes recommended by a pharmacist has the potential of transforming a patient's entire well-being. Many times, medications have interactions that cancel out the impact of the other. A simple separation of two-to-three hours between two medications has the capacity to dramatically impact the effectiveness of those medications. Pharmacists know this information best as it is directly what they are trained to know. Having this service is exciting for the potential outcome it can produce for all patients involved. We are honored to be have been awarded this grant."
About Four Seasons:
Founded in 1979, Four Seasons currently serves 11 counties across western North Carolina, providing the most trusted care to our communities through the following service lines: Care Navigation, Home Care, Palliative Care, Hospice Care, Bereavement Support and Clinical Research. Four Seasons is a national leader in high quality, person-centered care. Four Seasons is committed to providing an exceptional end-of-life care experience, proven by our consistent rank in the top 10% of service providers in the country for family satisfaction. Our dedication to innovation is also shown by being one in a handful of palliative and hospice organizations nationwide that contribute to clinical research studies and trials. If you or a loved one are living with a serious illness, remember it's your voice and your choice: call Four Seasons when you are ready. To learn more, please visit www.FourSeasonsCFL.org or call (866).466.9734.
About Delta Care Rx:
Delta Care Rx — https://www.deltacarerx.com — transforms and improves the hospice pharmacy industry through business transparency, innovation, extreme customer service, and the maintenance of vital community-pharmacy relationships. As a pharmacist owned, privately held provider, Delta Care Rx sets the industry benchmark for pharmacy benefit management, mail order pharmacy options, on-demand pharmacist services, and hospice tailored electronic prescribing. In addition, Delta Care Rx offers electronic tools, including cutting-edge telehealth technology, to improve the quality of patient care and simplify essential workflow and ordering processes within hospice settings.
Delta Care Rx
SOURCE Delta Care Rx; Four Seasons