NOVEMBER 2016 – Three Canadian pharmacy researchers are leading initiatives to advance the care of patients and the role of the pharmacist with suppport from Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s Innovation Fund.
Strategies for deprescribing
Dr. Barbara Farrell of the Bruyère Research Institute in Ottawa has been awarded $50,000 to support her research project on “Mobilizing Community Pharmacists as Catalysts for Deprescribing.” Based at the Institute, Farrell and her team will work with community pharmacy practices and a national advisory group (with provider and private payer representation) over a one-year period to develop acceptable workflow strategies for deprescribing guideline use.
Research associates will work with each pharmacy to quantify opportunities for deprescribing, describe activities and processes associated with guideline use—including how long such activities take—and highlight enablers and barriers that pharmacists encounter. This project is expected to lay the foundation for a larger demonstration project examining reach, adoption and implementation of deprescribing strategies, and ultimately a randomized controlled trial of deprescribing interventions that explores patient and health system outcomes, including related cost-savings.
E-tools to support adherence
Dr. Line Guénette of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Laval University and her team have received $26,800 to develop evidence-based electronic tools for community pharmacists to detect and improve medication non-adherence. Drawing on their previous research in medication adherence measures, the team aims to develop five electronic tools to target four common chronic disease areas (type 2 diabetes, hypertension, asthma and depression).
“We are committed to building tools that have acceptability, usability, utility, implementation and ways to improve e-tools for supporting pharmacy practice,” says Guénette, noting that the initial focus will be on diabetes and depression. “By developing and providing new tools to better identify patients having adherence problems, we will engage and support pharmacists with their crucial role regarding …medication efficacy/safety.”
Better link between hospital and community
University of Toronto’s Sara Guilcher and her team were also honoured with a 2016 Innovation Fund grant worth $38,000 to establish and evaluate the feasibility of an Acute care to Community Pharmacy Communication Link (ACC-Link) to improve medication management across transitions of care.
Building on existing best evidence around successful medication management interventions, the ACC-Link provides communication between hospital and community pharmacists to actively equip the latter with information needed to guide patients and their families at the point of hospital discharge. By evaluating the feasibility of the intervention and understanding the factors that may influence implementation, the researchers are expecting the program can be scaled to fit other clinical settings.
“Ultimately, ACC-Link has the potential to improve patients’ medication experiences, safety, overall health, and quality of life for themselves and their caregivers while reducing health-system costs and demand,” noted the research team in their submission.
Since 2004, CFP has invested more than $1 million in supporting practice-based research in Canada. Find out more about the Innovation Fund.