Perceptions and experiences of promotoras and pharmacists in an academic-community partnership providing telephonic MTM services to a Spanish-speaking, rural population: a focus group study - Tabula Rasa HealthCare

Perceptions and experiences of promotoras and pharmacists in an academic-community partnership providing telephonic MTM services to a Spanish-speaking, rural population: a focus group study

Research Publications | 3 Minute Read

Blanca Guerra 1, Shannon Vaffis 2, David R Axon 2, Sandra Leal 3, Terri Warholak 2, Ann M Taylor 2, Nicole Scovis 4


BACKGROUND: The literature is limited concerning the collaboration between pharmacists and promotoras in the delivery of medication therapy management (MTM) services. Yet, this information could help address a practice gap while improving MTM collaborative care approaches. 

OBJECTIVE: To identify the knowledge, attitudes, and barriers of clinical call center health professionals (pharmacists, nurses, pharmacy interns) and promotoras towards MTM collaborative care in implementing the Rural Arizona Medication Therapy Management (RAzMTM) program. 

METHODS: A descriptive, qualitative study using semistructured focus groups was conducted with call center health professionals and promotoras who participated in the RAzMTM program to improve pharmaceutical care for patients with diabetes and/or hypertension in rural Arizona. Recruitment and consent letters, a demographic questionnaire, and a focus group guide were designed specifically for this project. Three facilitators participated in each focus group-one guided the discussion while the others took notes. Focus groups were audio recorded to verify all responses and transcribed verbatim with omission of participant identifiers. Thematic analysis was conducted by 2 independent researchers who reviewed the transcripts to identify codes, seek consensus, and agree on themes, with negotiation from a third independent researcher. 

RESULTS: Nine participants took part in 2 focus groups. Participants were predominantly female (89%), college graduates and/or had postgraduate/professional degrees (78%), and were Hispanic or Latino (89%). Five themes were identified: (1) roles and responsibilities of RAzMTM participants; (2) benefits unique to the RAzMTM program; (3) interprofessional experience of RAzMTM participants; (4) professional growth for RAzMTM participants; and (5) opportunities for future improvement. Perceptions of the participants in the RAzMTM program were consistent-experiences of health professionals and promotoras were positive; they recognized the benefit of each other’s involvement in the program; and they learned how to work together to improve patient care. Future recommended program improvements include improving ease of scheduling (e.g., extending pharmacist availability to provide MTM services). 

CONCLUSIONS: These focus group results suggest that provision of telephonic MTM services, using an academic-community partnership, was positively received by participating pharmacists and promotoras. However, future work is needed for continued improvement of strategies to enhance interprofessional relationships in patient chronic disease management. 

DISCLOSURES: This project was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number DP004793, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services. This work also was supported, in part, by SinfoniaRx. Axon, Taylor, and Warholak received funding from SinfoniaRx. Axon reports grants from Tabula Rasa Op-Co, Merck & Co, Pharmacy Quality Alliance, Arizona Department of Health, and American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, outside the submitted work. Warholak and Taylor received funding from Arizona Department of Health Services as part of a contract, outside the submitted work. Vaffis reports funding from Merck and Pharmacy Quality Alliance. This study was presented as a poster at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meetings & Exhibition (June 10-12, 2019, Boston, MA) and as a podium presentation at the Arizona Pharmacy Association Southwestern States Residency Conference (June 14, 2019, Phoenix, AZ).

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