Medication errors can be all-too-common occurrences when patients transition from a hospital to their provider. To combat transition-related challenges, VHAN’s multidisciplinary team of pharmacy experts includes Ashley Sigg, a Transitional Care Management Pharmacist who offers medication reconciliation and support for 30 days after a patient’s hospital discharge.
During her follow-up conversations with patients, Sigg reviews their current prescriptions, educates them on how to take their medications properly and helps them overcome any cost or access barriers.
“Transitions routinely last for 30 days, but I work on a case-by-case basis,” Sigg explains. “Depending on the severity of a patient’s illness, I may need to follow up with them once or several times in those 30 days. If they still require assistance after that time, I refer them to a complex care coordinator so there’s an added layer of support.”
A Personalized Approach
Recently, Sigg worked with a patient who is visually impaired and had been discharged from the hospital with a new diagnosis of diabetes. The hospital sent him home with a standard blood glucose monitor with a small screen and faint numbers that were hard to read. When Sigg learned that the patient had Medicare Part B insurance that could be billed for his diabetic supplies, she suggested to the provider that the patient switch to a Prodigy Voice Meter, which audibly announces blood glucose readings instead of simply displaying them on a digital screen. The patient was thrilled to have a medical device that met his visual needs.
Sigg also trained the patient on how to use his insulin pen, teaching him to count clicks and use a magnifying glass to verify his dose. Sigg’s personalized support and education on accurate glucose readings and proper insulin doses helped the patient learn to manage his disease at home, reducing his chances of a follow-up hospital visit.
“The Office of Population Health investigates costs and coverage with patients’ insurances,” she says. “This work behind the scenes to get the specific documentation and claims approved through Medicare Part B can be very cumbersome. With the help of our pharmacy technicians, I do a lot of work to help patients with insurance billing issues.”
While Sigg assists patients with everything from avoiding duplicate prescriptions to following a proper medication regimen, helping them tackle medication adherence is one of her biggest responsibilities. For instance, when patients have several prescriptions from multiple pharmacies, Sigg looks for a single pharmacy that offers adherence packaging, a service that separates morning and afternoon doses into easy-to-open pouches. Sigg also contacts all of a patient’s providers to help them move their prescriptions to a pharmacy that offers this service, which helps eliminate the confusion that arises from managing multiple providers, prescribers and pharmacies.
Get in Touch
VHAN’s Pharmacy Team is available to help your patients with medication adherence, including education and support during transitions of care. To learn more about how you can access this service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.