Accreditation organization URAC will explore the changing role of the community pharmacist in a webinar later this month.

URAC, accreditation organization, community pharmacist, webinar, Terry McInnis, health care, Blue Thorn, Community Pharmacy Accreditation standards, medication management, role of pharmacist, Janice Anderson, accountable care organizations, ACOs, medical homes, medication therapy management

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URAC to spotlight expanding role of pharmacist

August 6th, 2012

WASHINGTON – Accreditation organization URAC will explore the changing role of the community pharmacist in a webinar later this month.

URAC said Monday that the Aug. 22 webinar will feature featuring Terry McInnis, president of health care consultancy Blue Thorn Inc. and coincides with URAC's call for comment on its new Community Pharmacy Accreditation standards.

Titled "Medication Experts in Our Midst: Comprehensive Medication Management and the Community Pharmacy," the webinar will examine how pharmacists' role is shifting from medication dispensing to a more clinical focus.

URAC noted that such coordinated care systems as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and medical homes provide an unprecedented opportunity for pharmacists to advance their roles as medication experts, patient educators and core members of the care team — 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," stated Janice Anderson, 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 look at changes in the health care delivery system that affect community pharmacies and outline the steps in comprehensive medication management and how they relate to the discovery and resolution of drug therapy issues.

URAC's proposed Community Pharmacy Accreditation standards, unveiled early last month, is aimed at helping consumers and large-scale purchasers identify 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.