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URAC Sets Standards for Community Pharmacy, Advances Dialogue About Pharmacists as Medication Experts

Monday, August 6th, 2012

URAC August 22 webinar explores changing role of pharmacist; Terry McInnis, MD, highlights comprehensive medication management as critical function in new care models

Washington, D.C. – Aug. 2, 2012 – The role of the community pharmacist is changing from direct dispensing to a more clinical focus as a vital link in the chain of patient care. URAC, a leading health care accreditation, education, and measurement organization, will explore this evolution and the impact it has on community pharmacy practice in an Aug. 22 webinar featuring Terry McInnis, MD, president of Blue Thorn, Inc. The webinar, “Medication Experts in Our Midst: Comprehensive Medication Management and the Community Pharmacy,” coincides with URAC’s call for comment on its new Community Pharmacy Accreditation standards.

Coordinated care systems such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the medical home provide an unprecedented opportunity for pharmacists to advance their roles as medication experts, patient educators and critical members of the care team.

As patients navigate a complex health care system with multiple physicians and care settings, the pharmacist serves as a valued provider of clinical pharmaceutical care by linking medications and their use directly to the overall care goals.

“Today, because of advances in technology and the advent of a range of new medications, many conditions that were once treated in hospitals are managed on an outpatient basis,” said Janice Anderson, R.Ph., URAC’s director of pharmacy programs. “The proper use of prescription medications can contribute to improved care outcomes, lower overall health care costs and safer care delivery.” The webinar, which will provide 1.5 continuing education units for pharmacists, will discuss changes in the health care delivery system that affect community pharmacies and outline the critical steps in comprehensive medication management and how these relate directly to the discovery and resolution of drug therapy issues. For more information and to register, visit https://www.urac.org/forms/meeting/MeetingFormPublic/view?id=35813000000A7.

The webinar accompanies URAC’s July 6, 2012 call for public comment to share input and opinions on proposed Community Pharmacy Accreditation standards. The accreditation will offer independent recognition and support for community pharmacies and their role in the medical neighborhood, validating excellence in single and multi-site, independent and chain pharmacies. Members of the health care industry are encouraged to provide their comments on the proposed URAC standards at https://www.urac.org/publiccomment/. The deadline for public comment is 6:00 pm EDT on Aug. 17, 2012.

URAC developed this new program as an expansion of its Pharmacy Quality Management accreditation suite, based on a need voiced from many within the pharmacy community for a voluntary, quality-focused accreditation program. URAC’s draft standards are designed to offer assurance to the health care community that a pharmacy organization is equipped and prepared to work with other providers in an evolving health care landscape. The accreditation will help both consumers and large-scale purchasers identify community pharmacies that engage in comprehensive patient counseling and education, medication therapy management, patient medication management, wellness services, and quality initiatives that improve care and reduce overall health care costs.

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For 25 years, URAC has been the independent leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation, education, and measurement. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in health care and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based measures and standards are developed through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of health care.

For more information about URAC, contact us.

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