The IMPROVE study: Background and study design

Barry L. Carter, Daniel C. Malone, Robert J. Valuck, Debra J. Barnette, Charles D. Sintek, Sarah J. Billups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


An ongoing study of the impact of ambulatory care clinical pharmacists on patient outcomes at selected Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs) is described. The IMPROVE (Impact of Managed Pharmaceutical Care on Resource Utilization and Outcomes in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers) study will examine the effects of referring patients at high risk for drug-related problems to a pharmacist-managed monitoring program. Nine study sites from diverse geographic locations and small and large urban areas have been selected. Investigators visited each site to evaluate the structure of care, observe pharmacist-patient interactions and assess the level and documentation of pharmacists activities. A coordinating center will collect and process patient-specific data from the study sites to identify high-risk patients. It is expected that 500 intervention patients and 500 control patients from the nine VAMCs will complete all portions of the study. Intervention patients will be scheduled for medication assessments by ambulatory care pharmacists and will be monitored by pharmacists for at least 12 months. The coordinating center will track refill histories for intervention patients. Investigators will assess the activities performed by ambulatory care pharmacists to determine predictors of successful patient outcomes. The two groups will be compared with respect to change from baseline in quality of life and satisfaction with health care providers. A cost-benefit analysis will be undertaken to determine the impact of pharmaceutical care relative to total patient care costs. The main outcome results of the IMPROVE study are expected to be available in 1999. The IMPROVE project will be the first study of the impact of ambulatory care clinical pharmacists on patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Administration
  • Ambulatory care
  • Clinical pharmacists
  • Clinical pharmacy
  • Clinical studies
  • Costs
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Economics
  • Errors, medication
  • Interventions Methodology
  • Outcomes
  • Patient care
  • Pharmaceutical care
  • Pharmaceutical services
  • Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
  • Prescriptions
  • Primary care
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy


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