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Pharmacy Faculty Member Publishes Journal Article on Emergency-to-Outpatient Care

Arinze Nkemdirim-OkereArinze Nkemdirim-Okere, a Ferris State University College of Pharmacy assistant professor, has published the first randomized trial defining pharmacists’ role in the transition of care from the emergency department to outpatient setting.

The study was featured in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, a premier peer-reviewed publication in the managed care research community. Due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” Okere noted that it has become increasingly important for healthcare providers to understand each other’s roles in care transitions to improve the quality of care provided to patients and reduce cost.

Although this randomized study was conducted in a single institution, the result has shown that pharmacist involvement in enhancing access to primary care can improve transition of care. The study further revealed that pharmacist intervention, in collaboration with emergency room physicians, can decrease utilization of urgent care and enhance utilization of primary care services.

What the study adds:

  • This study revealed that pharmacist intervention in collaboration with emergency department physicians can decrease utilization of urgent care and enhance utilization of primary care services;

  • No overall change was observed in the number of emergency department visits. The effect of the intervention could have been masked by other ongoing quality improvement initiatives; and

  • The study findings may help provide direction for future research on designing integrated interventions that will influence other health care utilizations post emergency care visit.

Okere’s research is in the areas of health outcomes and health care delivery.

Last updated: 04-07-2015