ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Health System has established a new partnership with Meijer pharmacies to provide hypertension management services for adult patients.
U-M patients will be able to visit participating Meijer pharmacy locations to receive a blood pressure check and assessment. If the patient’s blood pressure is elevated, the clinically trained Meijer pharmacist will communicate directly with the patient’s U-M Health System provider. The patient will also receive appropriate follow-up and education about disease, clinical goals, medications and lifestyle.
In addition, documentation of the patient’s visit to their Meijer pharmacy will be recorded in their electronic medical record so the patient can easily discuss the reading and assessment with their U-M Health System provider at their next medical visit.
“This partnership is allowing us to provide our patients with clinical pharmacist services in the community,” says Hae Mi Choe, director and associate dean of pharmacy innovations and partnerships at U-M. “Our patients will have more access to an effective and safe hypertension treatment and monitoring program right in their neighborhood.”
The partnership is available at two participating Meijer locations in Ann Arbor: Meijer at 3825 Carpenter Road and Meijer at 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline Road.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy and a community pharmacist is one of the most accessible health care professionals in the U.S., according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
“Improving blood pressure control is one of the U-M Health System’s goals,” Choe says. “We’re hoping this partnership will allow patients another convenient access point to high-quality care and improved management of their condition.”
Each participating Meijer location has purchased an automatic blood pressure monitor to provide more accurate readings to patients. The device takes six consecutive blood pressure readings and provides an average of the readings. The devices were purchased based on a recommendation from the U-M Health System Hypertension Quality Improvement Committee. U-M cardiology and chronic kidney disease clinics currently use these machines to ensure accurate blood pressure readings for patients.
U-M Health System patients with elevated blood pressure will be identified at clinic visits and given the option to visit the Meijer pharmacy for their follow-up care. There will also be outreach to patients with elevated blood pressure who live in close proximity to the participating Meijer locations inviting them to visit their local Meijer pharmacy, or return to their physician’s office, for their follow-up care.
“This affiliation presents us with a unique opportunity to collaborate with Meijer pharmacists and enhance our system of care for our patients to better meet their needs,” says David Spahlinger, M.D., executive vice dean for clinical affairs and president of U-M Health System.
The new services will be rolled out one clinic at a time throughout the Health System, beginning with clinics that see a large population of patients that reside close to the participating Meijer locations.
“We are excited to partner with the highly regarded University of Michigan Health System,” says Karen Mankowski, vice president of pharmacy operations at Meijer. “This partnership shows the importance of the collaboration between community pharmacists and health care providers. We look forward to offering our clinical services to the residents of Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas through this opportunity.”