High-Touch Pharmacy Care Keeps Patients out of the Hospital

Published 10/14/2020
by Kathryn Edwards

This story was shared by Staci Duncan, a specialty pharmacy liaison who works on-site at one of Trellis Rx’s partner health systems in the Midwest. 

I received a referral for a patient with AFib who was being discharged from the hospital. As I was working with the patient to enroll her in the health system’s patient assistance program, she asked that I contact her daughter, who lives two hours away, to handle her finances. When I reached out to the daughter, I learned that the patient had been out of her medication for about 10 days. I immediately informed the clinic and scheduled her for an appointment with a nurse practitioners the next day.

During the patient’s appointment, the nurse practitioner informed me and the other specialty pharmacy team members that the patient was once again in active AFIB. The nurse practitioner considered sending the patient to the ER for admittance, but first wanted to see if we could get her back on therapy immediately. I was able to get her a 30-day free trial card for Xarelto, and we were able to fill her prescription at the health system pharmacy during her appointment. Casey, our clinical pharmacist, also counseled the patient about the importance of adherence during her appointment and called the patient’s daughter to share the same information.

The 30-day free trial card provided time for the patient’s daughter to gather documentation required to submit the patient’s application for the health system’s patient assistance program. She was approved to participate in the program before her next refill, and we have since arranged for her medication to be delivered directly to her home via the health system pharmacy so she always has her medication on time. The patient’s daughter is thankful knowing that there is a dedicated team of pharmacists and pharmacy liaisons here at the health system to support her mother when she is unable to.


Why is this story meaningful to you?

This story is meaningful to me because we were able to immediately arrange for the patient to see her provider and we were able to ensure the patient could restart and adhere to her vital medication. By taking these actions, we were able to prevent this patient from being readmitted to the hospital, or worse. The provider, the patient, and the patient’s daughter were all so relieved and thankful that we were there to support them and to provide a solution that will benefit the patient over the long-term.


Why do you enjoy being part of the Trellis Rx team?

This story is a great example of why I enjoy being a pharmacy liaison at Trellis Rx: I am able to provide a level of care that I previously wished was available for patients. Interacting with the provider, patient, and pharmacy to ensure patients are able to start and stay on medication was always my dream, and now I get to do this every day.

This story shows one example of how financial hardship can prevent patients from taking their medications, which is a challenge I see often in this community. However, other issues arise too that our on-site specialty pharmacy team can address. For example, we can arrange home delivery to help those patients who are unable to find a ride to the pharmacy. Sometimes, the pharmacy liaison calling to arrange refill coordination prompts patients to express other concerns that our clinical pharmacist can address immediately. Our partnership with the providers and pharmacies makes it so easy to go above and beyond what would normally be possible for patients, which gives me such a big and grateful heart.


Read another patient impact story, or watch our video to learn more about making an impact as a pharmacy liaison at Trellis Rx.