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The Southern California region Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, which serves 2.2 million patients, and the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy have designed and implemented a patient consultation study to determine the cost-effectiveness of three different approaches to providing pharmacist consultation to outpatients. This paper describes the development and implementation of these three models. A total of 107 pharmacies (approximately 600 pharmacists) participated in the study and were assigned to provide one of the models of patient consultation, designated the Kaiser Permanente (KP) model, the state model, and the control model. The KP model (20 pharmacies) provided targeted pharmaceutical care services to high-risk patients based on drug use. The state model (67 pharmacies) provided California-mandated patient consultation to patients with new or changed prescriptions, instructions for use, relevant warnings and precautions, storage requirements, and the importance of compliance. The control model (20 pharmacies) provided consultation when deemed necessary by the pharmacist and provided care similar to that provided before mandatory consultation in California. The KP and state models used the same pharmacist/technician/clerk resources, but the control pharmacies limited personnel resources to those existing before the mandatory consultation law was passed in California. The paper describes the KP model in detail and provides a literature-based rationale for targeting particular high-risk patients for expanded services. The paper also describes the training process, gives an example of a high-risk patient intervention, provides information on documenting pharmacist interventions in all models, and explains the method used for monitoring implementation of the models.
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