Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in Ambulatory Care

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Organization Type: 
Educational Institution
Program Type: 
Education Level: 
Educational Elements: 
Independent Study
Self Reflection Activities
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Other Element(s): 
Delivery of community outreach events and medical provider education
Program Description: 

The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in Ambulatory Care is a four-week rotation at Community Health Center, Inc.  that is designed for Doctor of Pharmacy students to acquire the necessary clinical pharmacy skills to develop optimal pharmacotherapeutic regimens for patients with various chronic disease states.

During this rotation, the student will conduct patient care visits with the preceptor in the pharmacist-led clinic and prior to patients’ primary care visits. Visits include medication reconciliation, chronic disease state management, patient education, and patient self-care. Students are expected to critically evaluate the drug regimen and make appropriate pharmacological and non-pharmacological recommendations.

Goals for this rotation include: 1) Build upon didactic education through application in therapeutic management of patients with a variety of chronic diseases in an ambulatory care setting; 2) Develop greater understanding of pharmacist’s role in providing multidisciplinary patient care and achieve level of comfort in interacting with other health care providers as a member of a multidisciplinary team; 3) Develop skills to critically evaluate and apply medical literature and evidence-based medicine in medically complex patients; 4) Practice and enhance written communication skills; 5) Encourage greater awareness of cultural issues potentially affecting healthcare delivery and drug therapy decisions; 6) Encourage regular self-assessment by the student of his/her own skills in professionalism, communication, problem-solving, and decision making; and 7) Incorporation of individual student goals.

Program objectives include: 1) Review patient charts, extracting the necessary information to prepare for patient interviews;  2) Interview patients to obtain appropriate medical history and accurate medication list (drug, dose, frequency, and assess adherence); 3) Provide patient-specific, evidence-based pharmacotherapy recommendations to primary care providers (both verbal and written); 4) Recommend appropriate laboratory (and other) monitoring parameters for safety and efficacy of medication regimen and for general disease/health monitoring -- including appropriate follow-up intervals; 5) Identify, intervene on, and prevent real, as well as potential, drug-related problems; 6) Communicate recommendations effectively (verbal and written) with members of multidisciplinary team, patients, and caregivers; 7) Appropriately document patient care activities; 8) Educate patients regarding drug therapy and management of their chronic conditions; 9) Provide accurate and evidence-based (verbal and written) drug information to health care providers upon request; and 10) Work confidently and independently.


Program Results: 

The program is evaluated on a monthly basis by students and on a yearly basis by the Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Connecticut.  The impact that this experience has had on skill development with respect to clinical knowledge and patient communication/effective interaction is shared through these student evaluations. Feedback from students has been positive with results indicating that students appreciate the variety of opportunities they experience during their four weeks at the health center.

Targeted Professions
Ambulatory Care
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Advocacy for patient-centered integrated care
Cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally appropriate practice
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Risk identification
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Health information technology, including e-communications with patients & other providers
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Assessment of patient outcomes
Evidence-based practice
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated November 15, 2013

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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