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Closing the Care Gap for People with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: Collaborative Care, Telehealth, and Clinical Pharmacy

People with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) frequently struggle to maintain their recovery from recurring suicidality, psychosis, and debilitating mood episodes. They also face a high risk of chronic health conditions. Traditional – often short-term – psychiatric care is ill-equipped to meet the health needs of people with SPMI. Patients often require regular and sustained follow-up to support medication effectiveness and adherence and to screen for and treat cardiovascular disease and other common health risks. Kaiser Permanente Northern California has implemented a novel telehealth-based collaborative care program, SPMI Population Care, led by advanced practice clinical pharmacists, to improve the mental and physical health of its patients with SPMI. Although the individual program components of telehealth, collaborative care, and clinical pharmacy service have been employed successfully in the past for mental health care, the SPMI Population Care model combines the components and extends this approach to individuals at the most severe end of the psychiatric illness spectrum.

Authors: Iturralde, Esti; Fazzolari, Lisa; Shia, Macy; Slama, Natalie; Leang, Jessica; Awsare, Sameer; Nguyen, Lily T

NEJM Catal Innov Care Deliv. 2022 May;3(5).

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