Engaging Pharmacists to Improve Patient Care

To better serve its patients and reduce the effects of ineffective pain management, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo developed a pain management program that introduces pharmacists to patients. From January to April of 2012, both the nurse manager and pharmacist made individual rounds to all medical-surgical patients. An assessment was taken during these visits to determine pain history, current type of pain, pain medication, medication reconciliation and any other existing co-morbidities. Actively engaging physicians and other mid-level providers has strengthened clinical practices at the hospital, resulting in a patient-centered pain management plan.

To better serve its patients and reduce the effects of ineffective pain management, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo developed a pain management program that introduces pharmacists to patients. From January to April of 2012, both the nurse manager and pharmacist made individual rounds to all medical-surgical patients. An assessment was taken during these visits to determine pain history, current type of pain, pain medication, medication reconciliation and any other existing co-morbidities. Actively engaging physicians and other mid-level providers has strengthened clinical practices at the hospital, resulting in a patient-centered pain management plan.

This case study is part of the HANYS Triple Aim series highlighting how New York hospitals are improving health, enhancing quality and reducing costs. Hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies across New York State are pursuing the Triple Aim. In spite of fiscal constraints, HANYS members are embracing the challenge of transforming health care and are implementing new and innovative approaches to delivery.

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