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Pharmacy-Managed Employee Wellness Programs Yield Significant Health Gains


January 17, 2020

A pharmacy department-managed wellness program for employees and spouses at a two-hospital health system led to significant reductions in blood pressure and lipid levels, according to a study published recently in American Health & Drug Benefits. 

“Innovative, pharmacist-managed programs are expanding in the country,” researchers wrote. “Our study demonstrates an opportunity in which a community health-system pharmacy department can use pharmacists and advanced practice nurses to provide services to employees and their spouses who have hypertension or dyslipidemia.” 

Researchers conducted a retrospective chart review to evaluate outcomes from pharmacy-managed dyslipidemia and hypertension programs offered to employees and spouses at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, a self-insured health system in Savannah, Georgia. Participants were referred to the programs and underwent in-person appointments and phone interviews with a pharmacist or advanced practice nurse. During the consultations, evidence-based lifestyle and pharmacologic recommendations were covered. Participant were enrolled between November 2015 and April 2017. 

Among 138 enrollees in the analysis, systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped, on average, by 8.33 mm Hg and 3.67 mm Hg, respectively. Average decreases in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides were 27.67 mg/dL, 23.16 mg/dL, and 67.62 mg/dL, respectively, researchers reported. 

Overall, 46.9% of enrollees in the dyslipidemia program and 31.6% in the hypertension program required pharmacologic intervention, according to the study. 

“In our study, reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were achieved with the implementation of a wellness program, and, apart from a nonsignificant increase in HDL, all lipid values decreased significantly,” researchers wrote. “Pharmacists and an advanced practice nurse performed a vital role in the healthcare team by counseling patients on lifestyle modifications and by implementing pharmacologic as well as nonpharmacologic interventions.”

Jolynn Tumolo

Reference

Misher A, Brown J, Maguire C, Schnibben AP. Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs for Hypertension and Dyslipidemia in a 2-Hospital Health System. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2019;12(6):287–293.

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