Vol. 4 No. 1 (2018)
Research Article

Impact of a Certified Asthma Educator Pharmacist on Medication Adherence in Patients with Persistent Asthma in an Inner-City Hospital

Bloom CI
Department of Pharmacy, BronxCare Health System, USA
Huggins C
Department of Pharmacy, BronxCare Health System, USA
Sabharwal N
Department of Pharmacy, BronxCare Health System, USA
Diaz-Fuentes G
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, BronxCare Health System, USA
Published August 27, 2018


Background: The medication management for people with asthma (MMA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measure assesses adherence to controller therapy >75% of the calendar year. A new “Action List” feature recently incorporated into Allscripts, the hospital electronic health record (EHR), is used by a certified asthma educator (AE-C) pharmacist to track both the progress of and to improve patients’ MMA measures.
Objective: To evaluate the impact of an AE-C pharmacist using an EHR Action List on improving the number of patients with a MMA >75% compared to a pre-intervention group.
Methods: This was a retrospective, pre-post cohort study assessing the impact of an AE-C pharmacist on 2017 versus 2016 calendar year MMA measures. During the intervention period, the AE-C pharmacist conducted patient follow-up calls, as per the Action List, for refill reminders and identification/resolution of nonadherence. Providers were contacted for prescription renewals and insurance formulary changes. This data was compared with historical data from 2016.
Results: One-hundred and fifty-five patients were identified, 100 in the 2017 pharmacyintervention group and 55 in the pre-intervention (pre Action List) group. There was no significant increase in the MMA >75% measure in the Action List group when compared with the pre-intervention group (46% vs. 34.6%, p=0.1667). More patients who met the MMA measure were seen by a pulmonologist versus a primary care provider in both groups.
Conclusions: The AE-C pharmacist intervention was associated with a non-significant 11.4% increase in patients with a MMA >75%. This small preliminary study suggests promising results for the use of pharmacists to improve HEDIS measures, especially in PCP clinics.