Pharmacists, hospital case managers and hospital discharge planners across the U.S. who are involved in the care of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS).
Patients who present with and survive an acute coronary event must clear real and significant hurdles in their transition to outpatient care and ongoing prevention of recurrent events. Key components of this ongoing prevention include pharmacotherapy such as antiplatelet agents and coordination of care from the acute to outpatient setting.1,2
Why Educate the Pharmacist?
Patient adherence to evidenced-based pharmacotherapy following ACS is poor.3 A recent study of Medicare patients found during the first year and a half following an acute myocardial infarction, adherence to medications ranged from only 37% to 50% based on pharmacy refill data.3 Pharmacists have long been recognized as one of the most essential healthcare professionals in identifying and correcting medication nonadherence, and pharmacist involvement during the transition of care has been shown to reduce medication errors and improve adherence to medications essential to preventing recurrent ACS.4-9
Why Educate Case Managers and Discharge Planners?
Alongside these medication gaps there now exists legislative pressure to improve key quality measures in heart care. Over the next several years, hospitals with high readmission rates will begin to have their Medicare reimbursement rates reduced and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations specifically single out acute myocardial infarction as an area for improvement.10 Case managers are optimally positioned to not only greatly improve care for ACS patients but they are also positioned to shield their institutions from targeted payment reductions. This interactive educational activity will provide pharmacists, case managers, and discharge planners with the latest data regarding guideline-based care, effective treatment options, and the role of antiplatelet agents in optimizing ACS care. It will also seek to provide these healthcare professionals with the necessary tools for process improvement to ensure that patients receive the correct medications throughout their hospital stay, upon discharge, and for the appropriate duration of care.