Pharm2Pharm extends pharmacist after-care program to O`ahu

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-leong, (808) 974-7642
Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: Aug 18, 2014

Pharmacists on O`ahu are now helping patients at risk of medication-related hospitalization readmissions through Pharm2Pharm, a project from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Patients leaving Pali Momi Medical Center in West O`ahu and Castle Medical Center in Windward O`ahu can take advantage of the program during their recovery.

“The Hospital Consulting Pharmacists (HCPs) use risk-based criteria to identify inpatients who may benefit from further care once they leave the hospital,” said Karen Pellegrin, director of the project based in DKICP’s Center for Rural Health Science. “The HCPs also consider referrals from community docs who have high-risk patients not currently in the hospital who might benefit.”

HCP’s Angela Li, Shanele Shimabuku, and Elizabeth Lee, who are all graduates of DKICP PharmD program, identify high-risk patients and transfer them to the care of Community Consulting Pharmacists after discharge. Shimabuku completed a pharmacy residency through the college working with Senior Clinical Pharmacist and DKICP assistant professor Dr. Roy Goo, who is based on Kaua`i. 

“The launch on O`ahu was timed with the implementation of state-of-the-art health information technology by Hawaiʻi Health Information Exchange (HHIE), a key project support partner,” said Pellegrin. “The Hawaiʻi Community Pharmacist Association and Hawaiʻi Pacific Health also are key operating partners for the Pharm2Pharm project, which is funded through the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).”

With wireless mobile devices, Consulting Pharmacists can access cloud-based prescription-fill histories on their patients and ensure a complete and accurate medication list is available to other members of the care team through use of Health Care Systems, Inc. medication management tools. Participating Consulting Pharmacists can also communicate with each other and with other members of the care team through HHIE’s secure messaging system.

Pellegrin said they are currently focusing on hospitals in regions of O`ahu with higher rates of potentially preventable hospitalization rates. More than 1,300 high risk-patients have been enrolled statewide since Pharm2Pharm was implemented on Maui, Kaua`i and Hawaiʻi Island in 2013.