Ontario Pharmacists Practicing in Family Health Teams and the Patient-Centered Medical Home
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The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) approach continues to gather momentum in the United States and Canada as a broad approach to reform the delivery of the complete primary care system. The family health team (FHT) model implemented in Ontario, Canada, best mirrors the PCMH approach of the United States. The integration of pharmacists as key members of the health care team providing on-site, in-office coordinated care to FHT patients was included from the start of planning the FHT model and represents a substantial opportunity for pharmacists to realize their professional vision. Several research projects in Canada and elsewhere have contributed to providing evidence to support the integration of pharmacists into primary care practice sites. Two major research programs, the Seniors Medication Assessment Research Trial (SMART) cluster randomized controlled trial and the Integrating Family Medicine and Pharmacy to Advance Primary Care Therapeutics (IMPACT) multipronged demonstration project made substantial contributions to evidence-informed policy decisions supporting the integration of pharmacists into FHTs. These projects can provide useful information to support the integration of pharmacists into the PCMH and to encourage further research to better measure the effect of the pharmacist from the holistic patient-centered perspective.
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