Pharmacist the missing link in telehealth? (US)

Research led by HealthPartners Research Foundation of Bloomington, Minnesota on blood pressure monitoring programs was presented at the 2012 American Heart Association’s Quality of Care Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions. The surprising finding was that pharmacist–not the usual care manager or nurse–monitoring of telehealth results may have been key to successful patient BP control. 228 of the 450 patients with uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) received primary care plus telemonitoring management from a pharmacist, versus an equally sized group in traditional care. Patients measured their BP at home; results went to a web portal accessed by the pharmacist, with phone consults every 2-4 weeks. 71.8% with the pharmacist/telemonitoring combination had reduced their blood pressure to healthy levels versus 45.2% of participants in the traditional care group. Moreover, the former group reduced their BP more than those in traditional care, and were more compliant in taking their medication. Could it be that perhaps we’ve overlooked the missing link to making telehealth programs work…the trusted pharmacist? Food for thought. Healthcare IT News