By Ali Khorasani, PharmD, Director of Clinical Services, SuperCare Health
By looking at actual research-driven statistics and case studies that show how real patients do in our iBreathe program, health care workers and caregivers can understand how to improve their patients’ symptoms, medication understanding and quality of life. Plus, patients can gain confidence when talking to their health care providers about their needs and can trust that their therapies will work for them.
The patient in this study was a 76-year-old female who had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and high blood pressure. After seeing her primary physician, she was referred to a pharmacist for a full clinical assessment of her diagnoses as well as her pharmaceutical therapies. This referral was made because she was presented with more than one pre-existing condition and because she was at a high risk for future complications and possible readmissions to the hospital.
In addition, when looking at earlier clinical documentation, it was discovered that this patient had previously had issues in complying with recommended treatments. She had not always taken her medications as ordered. In the past, this had caused her to be readmitted with such symptoms as wheezing and shortness of breath. She also needed someone to examine her need for immunizations.
Because research and current guidelines showed that proper pharmacologic treatment could significantly reduce respiratory symptoms and improve outcomes, this full assessment was necessary. The pharmacist hoped that by discussing possible hindrances to therapy compliance, such as cost, side effects and lack of patient education, this patient would find it easier to take the recommended medications as ordered and thus experience fewer complications and better health.
Therefore, the pharmacist assessed lung capacity and breathing capabilities to confirm the COPD diagnosis, which was determined to be GOLD Grade 3, Group B. The pharmacist also met with the patient using live video feed. During this conversation, the patient shared that she was on two inhalers that had the same ingredients and same effects. After discussing which one worked the best, both the patient and pharmacist agreed to keep only the Anoro Elipta inhaler and stop using Symbicort. The doctor was also notified about this change. In addition, the patient learned about recommended immunizations, including influenza, pneumonia, TDAP and shingles.
The results of this interaction were quite positive. At the end of 90 days, the patient stated that she felt that her breathing was better, that she was not experiencing as many side effects from her medications as she once did and that she had better quality of life. Being able to speak to the pharmacist whenever necessary gave her peace of mind by allowing her to get her questions answered quickly by a professional.
Many truths can be learned from this case study. First, education is vital to ensuring that any patient knows how and when to take a drug. Second, by personalizing pharmacological services, patients can experience better results from their medications while experiencing fewer side effects. Third, because pharmacists have consistently been rated as some of the most trustworthy health care providers, they are in a unique spot for helping patients experience good outcomes. When clinics and hospitals routinely refer their patients to pharmacists, they can provide even better care and eliminate many readmissions.
When you choose SuperCare Health for your respiratory management, you can rest assured that you will find quality home respiratory therapy programs and support that will improve your health and help you feel more confident in your plan of care.
Get your patients enrolled with us by learning more about what we offer or scheduling a demonstration of iBreathe.