American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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ACCP Report - March 2016

Highlights from the CMM Effectiveness and Implementation Grant: A Report from the Study Team


In the fall of 2015, ACCP and the ACCP Research Institute awarded a grant of more than $2.4 million to the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy (UNC) to study the impact of implementing comprehensive medication management (CMM) in contemporary primary care medical practices. Collaborating with UNC on this project are the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Alliance for Integrated Medication Management, and American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network (AAFP NRN). The press release for this award appeared in the October 2015 issue of the ACCP Report (http://www.accp.com/docs/report/1015.pdf). Each quarter, the ACCP Report will feature a column, written by the study team, to provide ACCP members with highlights and learnings from the project, beginning with this issue.

Since receipt of this award, considerable work has been accomplished to launch the study. We have a finalized research agreement, subcontracts are in progress, the IRB application is under review, and several new project staff are on board. We have affirmed the interest of our 44 practice sites and their embedded pharmacists in participating and, pending IRB approval, will soon be reaching out to all sites to obtain written informed consent to begin the research. We will officially launch the study through an introductory webinar with all sites in April. One of the first activities will be performing a baseline survey of all sites, which addresses aim 1 of the proposed study: assess baseline demographics and the state of CMM within each practice. Our goal is to have baseline learnings collected, analyzed, and available this summer.

In addition to the operational aspects of the study that are under way to facilitate our launch, we are working to build key organizational and individual stakeholder collaborations to maximize our impact. We are also finalizing our CMM steering board, which will serve to provide insight into (1) study methods and tools, including surveys, qualitative interviews, and plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycles; (2) interpretation and dissemination of data; and (3) diffusion of learnings to other sites and key stakeholders.

Of note, we view this study as a tremendous opportunity to advance the role of implementation science as an important area of research in pharmacy practice. We are committed to engaging with a multidisciplinary team of key thought leaders and implementation scientists to ensure that we conduct this work with the highest degree of scientific rigor. To that end, we are assembling a team of individual and organizational collaborators to not only guide our work, but also actively engage in carrying out the aims of this study. We are fortunate to be working with the AAFP NRN, which brings experience in implementation science in primary care, and we are also building relationships with some key implementation scientists across the country. Finally, we are excited to announce that we have established a formal relationship with the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) (http://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/). Our relationship with NIRN will enable us to deepen our understanding and application of scientific methods, analyses, and tools in implementation science as we carry out this study.

Implementation science is key to meeting our goals of implementing, standardizing, replicating, and disseminating best practices in CMM in primary care. Furthermore, this line of work is critical to meet the needs of payers and policy-makers, who are driving new value-based care delivery and payment models. To facilitate this important dialogue, the study team will assemble a payer advisory board to inform our research priorities and provide feedback on how these results can be leveraged to implement policy and payment changes. These relationships will also allow us to solidify a business case with payers and policy-makers moving forward.

On behalf of the investigators and study personnel, we hope these highlights are informative. Please feel free to reach out to Mary Roth McClurg at mroth@unc.edu or Todd Sorensen at soren042@umn.edu at any time with questions or insights. We are excited to be under way!