Pennsylvania success stories

PA Local Success Stories
Quality improvement endeavors can often feel overwhelming, but chances are, you can learn from the experiences that another physician, hospital or nursing home has had in a similar situation. Coupled with support from Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, learning what has worked for others — and what didn't — is a valuable strategic planning component. 

We encourage you to read the success stories, contact us for more information, and also let us know if you have a Quality Insights' success storyto share.

Hartzell Pharmacy Turns Focus Towards Better Outcomes for Patients with Diabetes

Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the most effective. This was a lesson learned by pharmacists at Hartzell Pharmacy in the small town of Catasauqua, Pennsylvania.
Upon joining the Six Points Lehigh Community as part of Quality Insights’ Medication Safety Learning and Action Network (LAN), community members were tasked with reducing hospital readmissions for numerous patient groups. As pharmacies do not have access to detailed diagnosis codes for patients the way other facilities do, Hartzell Pharmacy staff knew it would have to find some other way to dispense targeted education to its consumers in pursuit of this effort.

While many patients are on several different types of drugs that are used to treat many different conditions, there is one medication that only those with diabetes receive – insulin. Since insulin is only provided to patients with diabetes, it allowed the pharmacy to easily identify the diabetic patients for education and pull the data for evaluation.

With a goal of improving patients’ understanding of how to administer and use insulin, and ultimately seeking better health outcomes and reduced acute visits, staff at Hartzell Pharmacy began education on November 1, 2017. Patients picking up a prescription for insulin were provided meaningful education about insulin use and administration. 

One of the barriers included patients’ perceived knowledge vs. their actual knowledge about insulin use. Another barrier was when the pharmacy was unable to provide direct patient education when caregivers picked up the prescription for insulin. Quality Insights’ local project coordinator worked with Hartzell Pharmacy to help identify these barriers and to provide feedback on how to overcome them.

It’s clear that diabetic patients that visit Hartzell Pharmacy are in good hands. Staff has now implemented a Diabetes Prevention Program to further educate their patients. They have also begun providing more preventative education by providing information to those at risk of diabetes to prevent its onset.