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Keywords

team care, hypertension, blood pressure, pharmacist, community pharmacy

Abstract

Objectives: 1) Conduct team building activities for provider-community pharmacist teams in small communities and 2) Determine the impact of the team approach on practitioner-reported consequences and 3) Identify obstacles to the team approach and ways to overcome them.

Methods: Eleven provider-pharmacist teams were recruited in rural/micropolitan communities in Iowa. The teams participated in team building sessions facilitated by the project leaders, to discuss the team approach. Decisions included patient identification, practitioner roles, and communications. Most pharmacists conducted blood pressure (BP) checks in the pharmacy and assessed the anti-hypertensive medications. If the BP was not at goal, the pharmacist worked with the patient and provider to make improvements. Teams followed their strategies for 3-5 months. Data were collected from pharmacy logs and on-line surveys of team members before and after the team period.

Results: Using a multi-case approach, 4 cases were classified as Worked-Well, 5 as Limited-Success, and 2 as No-Team-Care. The Worked-Well teams provided an average of 26.5 BP visits per team, while the Limited-Success teams averaged 6.8 BP visits. The Worked-Well teams established and used a system to support the team approach. The Limited-Success teams either didn't fully establish their team system, or used it sparingly. The No-Team-Care cases did not provide any team care.

Conclusions: Factors supporting success were: positive provider-pharmacist relations, established team system, commitment to team care, and patient willingness to participate. While this program had some success, potential improvements were identified: more follow-up after the team building session, additional patient materials, and guidance for practice changes.

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