CPS’ SDOH Outcomes Research Featured in Pharmacy Times

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CPS’ SDOH Outcomes Research Featured in Pharmacy Times

CPS’ SDOH Outcomes Research Featured In Pharmacy Times

PQA podium presentation, “A Health System Specialty Pharmacy Team’s Role in Addressing Social Determinants of Health,” is profiled.

June 2024

Pharmacists are well-positioned to address health disparities. That's according to a recent Pharmacy Times feature showcasing CPS' podium presentation at this year's PQA Annual Meeting.


There, CPS' specialty pharmacy experts Kristin Darin, PharmD, BCPS, Casey Fitzpatrick, PharmD, BCPS, and Shanece Green, PharmD, RPh, MSPH, MBA, hosted "A Health System Specialty Pharmacy Team's Role in Addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)." 


Specialty pharmacy teams can help to address unmet health-related social needs

The session examined the critical role that health system specialty pharmacies (HSSPs) play in addressing SDOH by identifying and offering help for unmet health-related social needs (HRSNs). HRSNs are social and economic experiences like access to healthy food or reliable transportation that can directly impact an individual's health and well-being.

"HRSNs are found within every category of SDOH and are another layer to consider," Dr. Green explained. "To address challenges, people must move away from linear thinking into systems-based thinking, which shows how SDOH metrics are interconnected."

The podium presentation culminated her research as CPS' inaugural Health Equity & Systems Thinking (HEST) pharmacy fellow. As part of the fellowship, Dr. Green worked with our specialty pharmacy and clinical services teams to develop and pilot an HSSP-led SDOH screening and referral program.


A successful HSSP-led SDOH pilot program

The resulting study, "A Health System Specialty Pharmacy Initiative to Identify and Address Social Determinants of Health," has been showcased at several conferences and was part of the podium presentation at PQA.

Design showing a community working together for better health equity.

The study's authors* evaluated how HSSP teams can identify and address medication access barriers due to unmet HRSNs. During the pilot, HSSPs used a validated screening tool to identify unmet HRSNs. In many cases, pharmacists could intervene and provide referrals and support for patients. 

Most patients welcomed the help, indicating the approach could benefit other hospitals and health systems.

"This is an expansion of our pharmacy practice models," Dr. Darin said. "We're really building upon and creating a more holistic approach."

She explained that the research will help standardize SDOH-related conversations and processes that may already be happening in the pharmacy.

HSSPs are already supporting SDOH management through initiatives like copay assistance programs and discount cards, Dr. Fitzpatrick added. Now, they have access to a standardized tool and approach to help identify HRSNs, support improved outcomes, and advance health equity.

Read the article to learn more.

*Authors of "A Health System Specialty Pharmacy Initiative to Identify and Address Social Determinants of Health," were Shanece Green, PharmD, RPh, MSPH, MBA; Kristin Darin, PharmD, BCPS; Rabiah Dys, PharmD; Karen Lee, PharmD, RPh, BCPS; Casey Fitzpatrick, PharmD, BCPS; Jessica Mourani, PharmD.


Read the article


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