A pharmacist based intervention to improve the care of patients with CKD: A pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial

Danielle Cooney, Helen Moon, Yang Liu, Richard Tyler Miller, Adam Perzynski, Brook Watts, Paul E. Drawz

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41 Scopus citations


Background: Primary care providers do not routinely follow guidelines for the care of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Multidisciplinary efforts may improve care for patients with chronic disease. Pharmacist based interventions have effectively improved management of hypertension. We performed a pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effect of a pharmacist based quality improvement program on 1) outcomes for patients with CKD and 2) adherence to CKD guidelines in the primary care setting. Methods: Patients with moderate to severe CKD receiving primary care services at one of thirteen community-based Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics were randomized to a multifactorial intervention that included a phone-based pharmacist intervention, pharmacist-physician collaboration, patient education, and a CKD registry (n = 1070) or usual care (n = 1129). The primary process outcome was measurement of parathyroid hormone (PTH) during the one year study period. The primary clinical outcome was blood pressure (BP) control in subjects with poorly controlled hypertension at baseline. Results: Among those with poorly controlled baseline BP, there was no difference in the last recorded BP or the percent at goal BP during the study period (42.0% vs. 41.2% in the control arm). Subjects in the intervention arm were more likely to have a PTH measured during the study period (46.9% vs. 16.1% in the control arm, P <0.001) and were on more classes of antihypertensive medications at the end of the study (P = 0.02). Conclusions: A one-time pharmacist based intervention proved feasible in patients with CKD. While the intervention did not improve BP control, it did improve guideline adherence and increased the number of antihypertensive medications prescribed to subjects with poorly controlled BP. These findings can inform the design of quality improvement programs and future studies which are needed to improve care of patients with CKD. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01290614.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support: The study was funded in part by the Cleveland VA Medical Research & Education Foundation. Additional support was provided through a Career Development Award K23DK087919 (P.E.D.) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute Of Diabetes And Digestive And Kidney Diseases or the National Institutes of Health. The paper was presented as a poster at the 2012 American Society of Nephrology annual meeting in San Diego, CA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Cooney et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


  • Care management
  • Chronic disease
  • Hypertension
  • Medical informatics
  • Randomized trials


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