A COPD CARE (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Coordinated Access to Reduce Exacerbations) service developed by Ed Portillo, assistant faculty associate in the Pharmacy Practice Division, has been selected as a Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office (CPPO) Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Strong Practice by the Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Office, a national oversight group for pharmacy practice within the Veteran’s Administration (VA). PACT is the cornerstone of the New Models of Care initiative that is intended to transform the way veterans receive care.
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. The COPD CARE service positions clinical pharmacists as essential members of the healthcare team after patients experience a COPD exacerbation. The identified benchmarks of a 30-day readmission rate and access to care netted positive results with zero readmissions and a two-fold increase in access to care.
Portillo’s work was among numerous submissions across VA sites in the inaugural competition focusing on CPS practices in key focus areas where pharmacists are providing comprehensive medication management services and serving as an Advanced Practice Provider with medication prescriptive authority. The competitive process entailed review and rating on pre-determined variables by a selection committee. Finalists were then asked to submit a standardized template for final evaluation by a new set of reviewers.
Portillo will be formally honored at the National Clinical Pharmacy Practice Council (NCPPC) meeting in September. In addition, he will be recognized as a PACT Strong Practice Subject Matter Expert (SME) and work with the PACT SME Workgroup to share the practice on the CPPO PACT monthly teleconference series. To aide in diffusion of this practice, Portillo will create a toolkit on how to implement the practice, with potential for adoption across the country.
In addition to his clinical practice at the William S. Middleton VA Hospital, Portillo teaches the Pharmacotherapy Skills Lab and lectures for courses ranging from clinical to management areas. He is also involved with the development of innovative curriculum design focused on positioning students for advanced pharmacy career paths.