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Pharmacy Alumni, Professor Publish Clinical Services Study in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association
Recently published research from the College of Pharmacy suggests that services offered by the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio (CPCO), a nonprofit that aims to increase access to pharmacy services and prescription drugs for medically underserved individuals, decreases hospital visits and increases patient ability to fill prescriptions. The paper, “Charitable pharmacy services: Impact on patient-reported hospital use, medication access, and health status” was published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA).
Former PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Resident Holly Fahey Babeaux, alumna Jennifer Seifert, Professor Laura Hall and College of Pharmacy students were supported by the 2013 Dan Herbert Incentive Grant from the APhA Foundation to carry out the project. The data was collected through a convenience sample of patients at CPCO. It suggests that hospital visits per patient decreased by a 1.03 mean, and 85 percent of patients were able to fully fill their prescriptions after utilizing CPCO services compared to 41 percent before.
Fahey Babeaux proposed the study as her residency research project. Seifert served as her site preceptor, and Hall guided her as a research mentor. She also recruited and trained five College of Pharmacy students to help conduct patient surveys and received support from the Ohio State Center for Biostatistics.
“Since opening in February 2010, CPCO has wanted to determine if the services they provide have improved the lives of their patients and decreased health care costs to their stakeholders,” said Hall. “Holly’s study personally tells me that, despite the many services in place around Franklin County prior to CPCO opening its doors, there are still patient needs that CPCO has been able to additionally address, which has led to improving patient health status while potentially lowering cost to community stakeholders.”
CPCO serves Franklin County Residents at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Patients are uninsured or underinsured and struggle with several barriers, including choosing how to use limited finances, access to health care, and access to healthy food and living environments. Hall hopes that Fahey Babeaux’s study sheds light for pharmacies serving similar populations.
“Publishing these results in JAPhA may reach and help other community and ambulatory care pharmacists start the conversation on how to better serve their own underserved and underinsured patient populations and evaluate whether a pharmacy practice model like CPCO could better meet those needs,” said Hall. “CPCO can use these results to show their value to new stakeholders or donors in their pursuit for additional funding to further improve access to some of the most vulnerable in our community.”
The college has had several partnerships with CPCO, such as rotations for fourth-year PharmD students, but Fahey Babeaux was the first PGY-1 resident to use CPCO as her primary practice site. No follow up study has been planned based on her work, but other research projects related to clinical services are being pursued by pharmacy residents who have followed her.
“The college has valued its strong relationship with the CPCO,” said Hall. “We are grateful for the opportunities our students have received from their training and are excited about what they will accomplish in the future at CPCO.”