Over the years, I’ve noticed a common theme in patients who do not understand their medication therapy or are unable to afford or manage it appropriately.  In my current practice as an inpatient clinical pharmacist, I see that discharge medication information can be overwhelming and confusing to well-educated patients and close to impossible to manage in patients with challenges in education, cognition, access, and understanding.

The project that I am working on through the A3 Collaborative will enable pharmacists to improve patient care through meaningful encounters with their patients; by getting the medication right.   IHOPE (Improving Health Outcomes through Pharmacist Encounters) will target inpatients before they go home to make sure the medication list is appropriate and clear.  During rounding the pharmacist identifies barriers to understanding and affordability.  Education is provided to the patient or a family member to emphasize the importance of the medication therapy. This is done through in-depth medication reconciliation during the hospital stay and at discharge, focusing on patients referred by the hospitalist and high risk patients through (LACE scoring).

In addition, we are targeting diabetic patients who have had a hospital admission and are not at A1C goals. Following the hospital discharge, the pharmacist will follow up in the ambulatory care setting and will demonstrate the value that a pharmacist can provide by helping move patients to goal, through pharmacist encounters.  Pharmacists have a unique skill set, focused on medications and can provide an important, under-utilized service in healthcare today.  Providers are facing increased time constraints, with fewer doctors, more mid-level providers, and increasingly complex medication regimens for their patients.

The A3 Collaborative has provided an excellent structure for the IHOPE project, with deliverables to keep the team on task.  The learning coach sets up monthly appointments and listens to the ideas you have and then offers recommendations for approaching or improvement on those ideas.  The value gained from A3 is the connection with and sharing of ideas across the network of pharmacists, nationwide, who become your colleagues and extended team. We are all working on projects that are relevant to pharmacy, but we may be at different points along the journey.








Amy Westmoreland, Pharm.D., BCGP
Pharmacy Manager
Carilion Giles Community Hospital (Virginia)
Dr. Westmoreland is participating in the 2017 / 2018 A3 Collaborative (spring cohort).
The A3 Collaborative is supported by AIMM, Apexus & ASHP.
Learn more about participating in the A3 Collaborative.
This blog is reposted with permission from author and ASHP, original posting was 2/14/18 on connect.ashp.org.