peopleCare awarded funds to support pharmacist-led medication reconciliation research

In April 2017, the province announced 15 new projects to receive funding from the Health Technology Fund, via the Office of the Chief Health Innovation and Ontario Centres of Excellence. Among the new awardees was a commitment of a $476,348 investment for a project being worked on by peopleCare Inc., along with Hogan Pharmacy Partners and PointClickCare.*
“We are thrilled to be provided this funding, which will be used to support our project with Hogan Pharmacy, called Pharmacists-led medication reconciliation at time of LTC transition,” said Jennifer Killing, Vice President of Quality and Innovation at peopleCare Inc. “With these monies, we’ll now be able to put resources into researching the benefits realization of our innovative interdisciplinary approach, which uses technology to support residents at times of transition into long-term care.”
The team has created and implemented a communication and documentation tool, utilizing PointClickCare, to support the process for pharmacists and physicians to review, discuss and collaboratively make decisions at each point of a resident’s transition into long-term care, whether they are coming from the hospital (including readmissions) or consultant appointments. 
Having the partnership with Hogan Pharmacies, which ensures the availability of 24/7 pharmacy availability through telepharmacy, allows for this process to be seamless, and occur at each and every resident transition. Moreover, ensuring pharmacists are involved throughout the transition process means the right people will have access to the right information, at the right time, with an end result of more resident-centred care.
“We believe that pharmacists leading medication reconciliation at times of transition should be the standard in Ontario,” added Killing. “We’ve already seen a reduction in medication errors and omissions, an improved focus on direct resident care due to a release of nursing time and, most importantly, improved resident outcomes in our homes.”
The grants provided by Ontario's Health Technologies Fund support the development of Ontario-based health technologies that improve care for people, bring value to the health care system and create jobs. The system that peopleCare and Hogan Pharmacy are championing promotes efficient collaboration among pharmacists, physicians and nurses to prevent medication errors.
Research has now commenced to provide data to support these observations at four peopleCare homes: peopleCare Tavistock, peopleCare Oakcrossing (London), Delhi Long Term Care, and Golden Years Nursing Home (Cambridge).
“Investing in health care communications tools helps to reduce the gap between health care service providers, including between hospitals and long-term care facilities,” said Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre. “This will improve the health and well-being of everyone in the Region of Waterloo, and will help to make difficult transitions easier and safer for patients.”
*Participating partners on this project, besides Hogan Pharmacy Partners and PointClickCare include University of Windsor – World Innovation Network and Northwest Telepharmacies.