Pharmacy-Related Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions: An Analysis of Tennessee’s County-Level Characteristics

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Objectives: 1) To determine 2010 pharmacy-related ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSC) hospital discharges by Tennessee (TN) county; 2) To explore pharmacy-related ACSC hospital discharges across county characteristics for Tennessee counties, including community pharmacies per county, age, and county rurality; 3) To explore pharmacy-related ACSC hospital discharges across age for northeastern Tennessee counties. Methods: Data were obtained from the TN Department of Health Statistics (hospital discharge data), TN Board of Pharmacy (licensed community pharmacies), the United States (US) Census Bureau (county-level populations), the Office of Rural Health Policy (rural designations), and the US Health Resources and Services Administration (health professional shortage area designations). ACSC discharges were determined using the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality's (AHRQ's) Prevention Quality Indictors (PQIs) for asthma, bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, and short-term and long-term diabetes complications. County-level analyses were population adjusted and analyzed across age. Analyses were conducted using SPSS and ArcGIS software. Results: In 2010, 79,683 hospital discharges were noted for pharmacy-related ACSCs, 55% of which were for residents 65 and over. For northeast Tennessee counties, 8,538 were documented accounting for 11% of Tennessee pharmacy-related ACSCs discharges. Bacterial pneumonia, heart failure, and COPD accounted for nearly 65% of discharges in northeastern Tennessee counties. The number of community pharmacies per Tennessee county was statistically significantly negatively correlated with county-level bacterial pneumonia (r=-0.339; p=0.001), CHF (r=-0.215; p=0.036), and COPD (r=-0.403; p<0.001) hospital discharges. Implications/Conclusions: Community pharmacies have the potential to positively impact the health needs of Tennesseans by targeting services (e.g., MTM, immunizations, adherence assistance) based on ambulatory care sensitive conditions. Future research is warranted to quantify current services and determine the capacity to provide such services.


Nashville, TN

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