Coverys Grant supports pharmacist at SMCS Rapid Access Clinic

From left to right: Lindsy Mack, Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse Care Coordinator; Jim Walsh, Psychiatric Services; Ji Chen, Pharm.D., Director of Pharmacy Services; Michael Smith, Pharm.D. Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Boston, recently awarded a $25,000 grant to Springfield Medical Care Systems. The grant supports an innovative new concept to include pharmacist consultation services as a component of its Rapid Access Clinic.

The pharmacist consult program was initially launched in 2017, and this grant will allow SMCS to offer expanded hours at Rockingham and Springfield locations. The Rapid Access Clinic provides expedited psychiatric access for SMCS patients upon discharge from a medical, psychiatric, or substance abuse hospital admission, and on an urgent “as needed” basis for previously established SMCS primary care patients.

The mission of the RAC is to provide brief consultation for acute psychiatric patients in order to increase timely connection with needed services. The objective to embed a licensed pharmacist to work side-by-side with a nurse practitioner in the Rapid Access Clinic was to reduce medication use whenever possible, and to improve medication reconciliation and monitor drug safety and efficacy. These efforts have proven successful.

The clinic, currently serving nearly 100 patients, discovered 64 percent of participants had medication discrepancies requiring intervention. “Overall patient medication list accuracy is greatly improved through implementation of this new program,” comments Ji Chen, director of Pharmacy Services at Springfield Hospital.

She continues, “Throughout the process, the pharmacist is readily available as a valuable resource for counseling on potential side effects, drug interactions, and to improve medication adherence. The result is prevention of serious medication errors and improved health and wellness for patients.”

Coverys is one of the nation’s leading providers of medical professional liability insurance. The Boston-based company established the Coverys Community HealthCare Foundation to support charitable endeavors that provide healthcare services, thus improving patient safety and care.

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