Physician-pharmacist teams can help lower blood pressure
Research Activities, June 2010, No. 358
When clinicians and pharmacists work together, they can lower patients' previously uncontrolled high blood pressure, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of Iowa asked physicians and pharmacists to consult about treating patients with high blood pressure at three family medicine clinics in Iowa. They found that blood pressure was three times more likely to be controlled when physician-pharmacist teams were employed than at three similar clinics that did not have physician-pharmacist teams. In fact, 64 percent of patients at clinics with physician-pharmacist teams were able to achieve blood pressure control compared with 30 percent of patients at the other clinics. For instance, average blood pressure readings dipped 20.7/9.7 mm Hg for patients seen at the clinics with teams compared with just 6.8/4.5 mm Hg at the other clinics.
Physicians appeared willing to accept their colleagues' recommendations, accepting 96 percent of the 771 recommendations pharmacists made for patients with high blood pressure. The authors suggest that clinics and health systems that want to improve patients' blood pressure control should consider allowing clinical pharmacists to become more involved in managing patients. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS16094).
See "Physician and pharmacist collaboration to improve blood pressure control," by Barry L. Carter, Pharm.D., Gail Ardery, Ph.D., Jeffrey D. Dawson, Sc.D., and others in the November 23, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine 169(21), pp. 1996-2002.