CMHC Pulse Blog

Almost all cardiometabolic providers across subspecialties rely on some degree of pharmaceutical intervention to treat and manage a variety of conditions in their patients. The Pharmacy Quality Alliance seeks to improve the quality and safety of medication use by identifying social determinants of health. This national organization has recently released the first-ever resource guide to outline pharmacist and pharmacy-centered services to provide health care professionals with ideas and examples of services and information on common barriers to care.

Pharmacy Quality Alliance

The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) was established in 2006  to improve prescription drug quality, safety, adherence, and appropriate use. Members of the PQA include pharmacies, health plans, health care providers, pharmacy benefit managers, biopharmaceutical companies, technology vendors, government agencies and associations, health information technology organizations, researchers, accrediting organizations, and academic institutions. In observance of their mission to optimize health by advancing the quality of medication use, the PQA has recently issued a Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Resource Guide profiling 20 real-world SDOH services that are promising for improving the quality and safety of medication use. The guide focuses on SDOH screenings, referrals and interventions conducted by, or involving, pharmacists or pharmacies.

The SDOH Guide

This is the first and only resource guide that catalogs pharmacist and pharmacy-centered SDOH services. It provides health care professionals with ideas and examples of SDOH services they can implement, and was designed to be widely used in many different settings. Within the guide, providers can find information on each service’s location, scale, target population, care setting, intervention, and outcomes.

The resource guide covers services that address the seven SDOH barriers identified by the PQA:

  • Cost of Medications
  • Cultural or Literacy Barriers
  • Decent, Safe and Affordable Housing
  • Food Security
  • Screening for Unmet Needs
  • Social Isolation
  • Transportation


The initiatives in the SDOH Resource Guide are informed by contributions from member organizations and numerous practice settings, and are designed to reduce barriers to care at the local, state, regional, and national levels. The PQA plans to expand the guide as new examples of SDOH are identified or as the results and feedback from existing initiatives become available.

Acknowledgments and Disclosures

Cardiometabolic Health Congress wishes to acknowledge this article was first reported by our partners at the Pharmacy Podcast Network on February 25, 2022.

The PQA discloses that this activity was supported by an independent medical education grant from Merck & Co. and by Humana, whose mission is to help people achieve lifelong wellbeing. Read the entire SDOH Resource Guide here.


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