In a study presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2023 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition, researchers from Ascension Saint Mary in Chicago, Illinois, explored the impact of a pharmacist-led medication refill management service in an ambulatory care setting. The service, staffed by two ambulatory care pharmacists and three technicians, effectively handled medication refills for a six-month supply. Over the 12-month study period, the team addressed 59,222 interventions, resulting in substantial cost savings of $1,053,024. Primary care physicians, overwhelmed with direct patient care responsibilities, found relief as the refill service significantly reduced their workload.

The study revealed a positive impact on physician satisfaction, with all participants expressing a decrease in burnout and an improvement in patient care quality. While 75% of physicians acknowledged that recommendations aided in closing care gaps, all physicians endorsed the service to their colleagues. Common interventions included the need for follow-up appointments, laboratory monitoring, and avoidance of inappropriate therapy. Out of 46,349 refill requests addressed, 22,731 were directly managed by the refill service. The study's primary focus was to describe and quantify pharmacist interventions, with secondary outcomes measuring cost savings, the percentage of pharmacist-addressed refill requests, clinical recommendations, and provider satisfaction scores.

In conclusion, the implementation of this pharmacist-led refill management service demonstrated its efficacy in reducing the workload of primary care physicians, leading to increased provider satisfaction and noteworthy cost savings through interventions and optimization of therapies.


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