Evidence-based health care practice and constant improvement are pillars of the Pier Health Resource Centre philosophy.

We support several research groups investigating at-risk communities through financial or in-kind contribution, active participation and/or data collection.

To date, we are associated with research teams from the University of British Columbia School of Psychiatry, the University of British Columbia School of Pharmacy and the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).

The Hotel Study, with whom we closely collaborate, has made ground-breaking discoveries regarding the prevailing health conditions of the DTES population. Their publications have greatly influenced the way we approach individuals from a care-planning perspective and outline the need for greater attention towards mental health and psychosis as opposed to an exclusive focus on addiction.

Because of our collaboration with universities and the resulting transparency involved, operations and documentation at Pier Health are highly regulated and meticulous. We considered ourselves the most heavily scrutinized pharmacy in the province and we hope to maintain that “title” for years to come.

For more information on the findings of the Hotel Study, click here

Research — The PHinDmore Study

The PHinDmore Study is an outcomes study conducted by the University of British Columbia Faculty of Pharmacy, under the direction of Professor Carlo Mara.

The study was founded in 2013 and is facilitated by lead investigator John Shaske, out of Howe Sound Pharmacy in Gibsons, BC.

All participants submit to a clinical assessment and ongoing evaluation regarding their reported health outcomes associated with their medication therapy. The clinical pharmacists, who collect and document the information are also responsible for management of the participants’ medication program with the goal of identifying 100% of all drug therapy problems and resolving them to the best of that clinician’s ability.

The results of the study can be seen here. It has been concluded that this model of pharmacy care, as provided by Howe Sound Pharmacy, increases adherence, enhances patient health outcomes and reduces hospital and physician visits. The study quantified that in 2013 Howe Sound Pharmacy saved the health care system at least 2,250 net doctor visits allowing the physicians to do restricted activities to their scope of practise and at the same time save medical and emergency costs.

Pier Health Resource Centre is the second clinic to participate in the PhinDmore Study. We hope that this evidence-based approach to pharmacy will raise the level of outcomes and transparency in our profession and ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for citizens across the province.

The Methadone Subset

Methadone Maintanence Treatment programs are being examined by regulators across the country and nowhere has there been greater interest than in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. With an estimated 1500 individuals on MMT and an estimated $18 Million annual cost to the ministry, methadone in this neighbourhood is an integral aspect of healthcare delivery. The PhinDmore study has added a special methadone cohort for monitoring over a 5 year period. The purpose is to inform government regulators as to the results of a specific clinical protocol as applied to this treatment program as well as to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the methadone compensation model.

Participants in the methadone subset have additional access to a social worker, employed by the study, as well as to the clinicians associated with Pier Health.

The Anti-Psychosis Depot Injection Subset

Of the 5000 at risk residents of Vancouver’s DTES an estimated 47% are believed to be challenged by psychosis. Due to the extreme nature of this mental health condition medication program adherence is extremely difficult in particular when drug therapy involves multiple doses of different medications throughout the day.

Long acting depot injections are a potential benefit to the 1500 DTES residents whose psychosis is currently untreated or ineffectively addressed. By receiving an injection once every two months, the psychosis is stabilized allowing the resident an opportunity to access other services that increase their quality of life.

Pier Health Resource Centre is the first pharmacy in BC, in which clinical pharmacists have authority, through delegation, to administer these injections, under supervision by Dr. William Grant MacEwan of St. Paul’s Hospital.

By applying the clinical protocols of the PhinDmore Study to patients suffering psychosis, we hope that patients will be able to adhere to their medication program at a higher level than before and demonstrate a superior method of supporting at-risk residents challenged by severe mental health.

Participants in the Anti-Psychosis Depot Injection Subset have access to all clinicians associated with the Pier Health Resource Centre.