May 19, 2021 Amy Swanson

The value of pharmacist interventions in supporting safe medication use

Specialty patients benefit every day from pharmacists being at the center of their clinical and care management. For example, when pharmacists perform clinical interventions, it can support safe medication use and decreased likelihood of negative medication-related outcomes.

To demonstrate the value of pharmacist interventions in supporting safe medication use specifically for tuberculosis (TB), members of the Excelera Network voluntarily participated in a quality initiative to assess compliance to and timing of pre-treatment TB screening in patients starting biologic therapy and to record the number and type of pharmacists’ interventions related to TB screenings. So, why is this important?


“Appropriate screening for latent TB prior to initiation of biology therapy is fundamental to patient safety, yet studies have revealed that this important step is frequently missed, likely due to disjointed communication between the prescribing providers and specialty pharmacies that are outside of the health system,” said Karen Kelley, RN, Therapy Management/Accreditation Lead, Monument Health Specialty Pharmacy.


The data not only creates a baseline that illustrates real-world practice for the participating sites regarding the timeframe for obtaining these pre-treatment labs, but it also demonstrates the value of pharmacist interventions in supporting safe medication use.

The ensuing TB screening abstract and poster were accepted for presentation at the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) Annual Meeting. The lead authors, Lana Gerzenshtein, PharmD, BCPS, CSP, and Zach Russell, PharmD, CSP from Excelera presented their research at the interactive PQA poster session on May 17, which features professionals from across PQA’s membership presenting innovative research surrounding medication use quality.


“We are always pleased to present projects which demonstrate the collaborative nature of the Excelera Network. As is oftentimes the case, when presenting this project during the PQA Annual Conference, attendees commented on the challenge of conducting multi-site projects. Participation in projects like this demonstrates our members’ commitment to collaboration and best practice sharing,” said Zach Russell, PharmD, CSP, Director of Network Operations.


[Read: Excelera to Present Poster on Tuberculosis Screening Compliance at PQA Annual Meeting]

In addition, the abstracts from the PQA Annual Meeting are published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA), a peer-reviewed journal focused on advancing pharmacist-provided services.

The Excelera Network utilizes tools, technology, and best practices at scale to improve health outcomes and decrease healthcare costs. Excelera® is a subsidiary of Shields Health Solutions and the company behind the Excelera Network.

Additional Resources:

Excelera Expert Interview With Karen Kelley