Personalized Care is the Difference with Health System Specialty Pharmacy Services

Published 05/08/2019
by Kathryn Edwards

A story from one of our partners illustrates how the personalized care patients receive from health system specialty pharmacies makes a critical difference in their adherence and health outcomes.

Recently, a patient living with HIV was introduced to the specialty pharmacy team at Legacy Health. The patient needed surgery to remove precancerous tissue, but was unable to undergo the procedure because she had a dangerously high viral load of 4.2 million copies/mL.

During their meeting with the patient, the specialty pharmacy team discovered the patient had a long history of non-adherence. This was caused partly by lifestyle barriers, like poor housing conditions and limited access to a phone. However, the patient had also stopped taking previous medications because she experienced negative side effects.

Since the specialty pharmacy team knew this particular patient’s history and needs, they were able to develop a personalized care plan to ensure she adhered to her new therapy. The care plan involved educating the patient about her new medication, including how to handle common side effects.

Because the patient had limited access to a phone, the specialty pharmacy team also partnered with her to identify a loved one to be their primary point of contact and to help ensure she took her medications every day. The patient decided to ask her sister for support.

The specialty pharmacy team then regularly followed-up with the patient’s sister to make sure the patient was taking her medication as prescribed. Not only did the patient take every single dose of her medication in the first week, but she has also adhered to her medication over time. At a recent follow-up appointment, the patient’s viral load had been reduced to 170 copies/mL. As a result, the patient was recently able to undergo the surgery she needed to prevent cancer.

Receiving personalized care from the Legacy Health specialty pharmacy team helped this patient gain the support and confidence she needed to stick with her treatment plan. Read last week’s patient impact story or contact us to learn how your health system can provide more personalized care to patients through clinic-based specialty pharmacy services.