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New Mexico Team Receives Two Awards at National Health Care Event

Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Collaborative Learning Session Draws over 250

A New Mexico health care team has received national recognition during the recent U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Collaborative (PSPC) Learning Session held January 10-11, 2012, in Herndon, VA. 

The New Mexico team El Centro and Partners team from Española received the Safe Medication Use Systems award for implementing and sharing best practices on the design and use of a system for preventing adverse drug events by detecting potentially inappropriate medications. In addition, El Centro Family Healthcare CEO Lore Pease received the Outstanding Executive Leader award for her commitment to improving patient safety through supporting clinical pharmacy services and quality improvement measures, including requiring providers to refer high-risk patients to the clinical pharmacist for medication therapy management.

The El Centro and Partners team is led by the federally qualified health care center El Centro Family Health Care and HealthInsight New Mexico (formerly New Mexico Medical Review Association), the Quality Improvement Organization for the state. Other member organizations include the New Mexico Primary Care Association, New Mexico Pharmacists Association, and the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy.

For the past two years the team has provided outstanding clinical pharmacy services to patients with multiple complex conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure. All patients were provided with medication access, patient counseling, preventive care education, medication education services, medication reconciliation, provider education, retrospective drug utilization review, medication therapy management services, disease state management, and prospective chart review and provider consultation as needed. 

The clinical team was able to successfully manage their patients’ high blood glucose and cholesterol levels, leading to a significant improvement of the overall health and quality of life in the served population. Specifically, 690 potential adverse drug events were avoided and 239 adverse drug events were detected during face-to-face visits. As a result of clinical pharmacist interventions, 85.5 percent of patients with diabetes and hypertension had their blood pressure under control, 89.9 percent of patients with diabetes and heart failure had their cholesterol levels at healthy levels, and 78.3 percent of patients with diabetes had their average blood sugar at safe levels.

QIOs nationally are funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to work with PSPC teams to develop and disseminate national best practices, as well as a picture of return on investment for clinical pharmacy services in the new health care delivery system. This information will be compiled in a national performance report, which will be presented to Congress and will serve as a basis for reimbursement for clinical pharmacists and federally qualified health care providers.

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About HealthInsight

HealthInsight is a private, non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to improving health and health care that is composed of locally governed organizations in three western states: Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The HealthInsight enterprise holds contracts, grants and accreditation in key areas of healthcare improvement. This work includes an Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research Chartered Value Exchange (Nevada, Utah); Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (Nevada, New Mexico, Utah); Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Aligning Forces for Quality (New Mexico); Office for the National Coordinator (ONC) Beacon Community (Utah); Medicaid External Quality Review Organization (New Mexico); Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (Utah, Nevada; New Mexico subcontractor); a Community Health Information Exchange (Nevada); Prescription Improvement Coalition (New Mexico); Utah HealthScape (Utah); and URAC accreditation (Nevada). HealthInsight is a recognized leader in quality improvement; transparency and public reporting; health information technology programs; healthcare system delivery and payment reform efforts; and human factors science research and application. Visit our website at www.healthinsight.org.