<p>A new <a href="https://www.nacds.org/pdfs/comm/2014/pharmacist-role.pdf">report </a>from Avalere examines the potentially expanded role pharmacists could play in a rapidly evolving healthcare system. NACDS, along with other national pharmacy organizations, funded the report, &ldquo;Exploring Pharmacists&rsquo; Role in a Changing Healthcare Environment,&rdquo; which was released on May 21. </p>
<p>The report found, by focusing on recent research articles in the U.S., that many pharmacist services&mdash;including medication management, medication reconciliation and preventive care&mdash;are key in improving overall health outcomes and reducing costs at a critical juncture in healthcare delivery, when a strained healthcare system is struggling to meet demand in the face of expanded healthcare coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act.</p>
<p>As payers, providers, and policymakers are considering strategies to deliver more efficient care in a challenging healthcare environment, the report points to evidence that pharmacist services have been shown to improve therapeutic outcomes and adherence to medications and contribute to&nbsp; reduced healthcare costs. The findings show that pharmacists are an underutilized resource who should to be more fully integrated in healthcare delivery.</p>
<p>The report recommends that as the healthcare delivery continues to shift toward more coordinated, cost effective, team-based care&mdash;such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes&mdash;future research should focus on the comprehensive services pharmacists provide, and how leveraging their abilities could positively impact a healthcare system in need of ongoing innovation and collaboration.</p>