The study found that three-fourths of participants who encountered both a physician and pharmacist were able to lower 24-hour blood pressure readings to within an acceptable range, compared with only half who achieved the same results in situations where only the physician was present.
While research has shown that physician-pharmacist collaboration is a good thing for patients, there are still challenges—including the appropriate compensation strategies—to integrating pharmacists into this environment.
In Alberta, where the diabetes-blood pressure study was conducted, the establishment of primary care networks has already created an opportunity for pharmacists and other allied healthcare professionals to become active members of primary care teams, according to Simpson. "Salaries for these clinicians are paid out of a central budget for the network."
Perhaps this research is just what's needed to encourage the greater adoption of multidisciplinary care teams that have generated so much interest in the United States over the last several months.
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