Use technology to drive better patient care and cost savings

A patient’s medical history includes years of data reflecting their medical conditions, co-morbidities, medications, laboratory results, and additional information related to their health and well-being. While this data can be valuable in helping doctors, pharmacists and other clinicians optimize patient care, the challenge often comes down to how it is accessed, stored, and shared.

Health data can be housed within numerous silos, including data stores, electronic health records, and health information exchanges, making it difficult for members of a patient’s care team to share information and harness its collective insights. Despite comprehensive health data being critical for improving outcomes and providing timely and cost-effective care, it’s not always readily available. This often requires patients to provide their information through a manual process, which presents more opportunities for human error.

In specialty pharmacy, where patients with chronic conditions and complex needs depend on individualized care, a streamlined approach to access data collection is even more essential.

How advanced connectivity drives efficiencies and better outcomes

At AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, one of the largest specialty and home delivery pharmacies in the country, real-time data supplementation is positively impacting quality, costs, and patient and payer satisfaction. By employing Inovalon’s DataStreamâ„¢ application, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime’s team members will be able to access data from across the healthcare ecosystem following the federal law restricting the release of medical information – an effort that would typically require numerous calls to the patient and provider for necessary information.

Rick Miller, MSPharm, MBA, CSP, vice president of clinical and professional services at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, explained how the company’s team of clinicians, product implementation managers, and IT specialists collaborated with Inovalon on algorithms and filters to provide pharmacists with clinically relevant information for each patient, including ICD-10 codes, to identify medical diagnoses. As a result, just months after using the new functionality, the average patient profile in the AllianceRx Walgreens Prime system was updated with between four and five additional diagnoses to which the company did not previously have access. This allows clinicians to perform more effective drug utilization reviews and identify potential issues before dispensing a new medication.

“From a clinical perspective, data supplementation gives us a more robust view of a patient’s treatment journey,” Miller said. “We can look at their medication and disease profile simultaneously to catch any contraindications that may result from other prescriptions or medical conditions. Operationally, this streamlines our process significantly. The information is all available to our clinicians, without having to depend on patient recall or a separate conversation with their physician.”

Miller added, for patients, integrated and coordinated care helps eliminate the need for follow-up phone calls. In many cases, this results in faster access to therapies and medical interventions. For providers and payers, the use of data supplementation can save time and lower costs while enhancing the overall patient experience.

Shaping the future of personalized care

The adoption of highly customized data-driven insights is advancing patient care today. Breaking down longstanding data silos paves the way for future healthcare models in which trust, transparency, and information-sharing can minimize the disease burden for patients with chronic conditions.

The specialty pharmacy’s success is inextricably linked to customized clinical services that put patients at the center, with particular attention to medication adherence and disease management. By continually innovating and employing advances in data technology, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is demonstrating how specialty pharmacies can facilitate meaningful connections between payers, providers, and pharmacists and improve patient outcomes throughout the entire care continuum.