Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare quality was already relatively poor in the U.S. compared to other peer countries. COVID-19 has magnified and accelerated the consequences of poor chronic disease control, leading to higher rates of hospitalizations and death for those infected. In addition, medication therapy can be very expensive, particularly for seniors who often take multiple medications for multiple chronic conditions…and this increases risk of harm from drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. This presentation helped participants understand how to work with pharmacists and their healthcare team to get the greatest benefit from medications while reducing risk of harm and out-of- pocket costs. In addition, an update on the status of COVID-19 vaccines was provided.
Dr. Steven Chen is a national leader on expanding the scope of pharmacy practice to improve patient outcomes and save healthcare dollars. He is Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the USC School of Pharmacy, Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, and the William A. Heeres and Josephine A. Heeres Chair in Community Pharmacy. Dr. Chen is Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for more than $18 million in grant-funded research evaluating the impact of Comprehensive Medication Management on healthcare quality, safety, cost, and patient and physician satisfaction. He is Co-Chair Emeritus of the US Health Resources & Services Administration’s Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative (PSPC), and founder of the California Right Meds Collaborative (CRMC). Among his many awards are the American Pharmacists Association Pinnacle Award and the USC School of Pharmacy Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award. To learn more about Dr. Chen, go to pharmacyschool.usc.edu/steven-chen.