The Role Of The Pharmacist
The pharmacy was once just a place to fill prescriptions. Today, pharmacists play an active role in overall healthcare. About 6 in 10 Americans suffer from chronic conditions. Many, especially over the age of 65, take multiple medications to manage symptoms. That means the pharmacy is a critical touchpoint in the disease management process. To ensure excellent healthcare, pharmacists now work side-by-side with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel. What role will the pharmacist play? By leveraging knowledge and relationships, these experts help in 5 crucial ways.
1. Your pharmacists can identify dangerous drug interactions.
Pharmacists spend several years understanding mediation and how each interacts with the body. More importantly, pharmacists understand how medication interacts with each other. As part of disease or pain management, doctors will prescribe one or more drugs. Sometimes, these drugs cause dangerous interactions with supplements, foods, or other drugs. Through key questioning, the pharmacist can stop or change medication for the patient’s safety.
2. Pharmacists help with medicine adherence
Adhering to medicine is one of the biggest challenges patients face. Some patients forget due to busy schedules, while others try to avoid unwanted side effects. Pharmacists play an active role in helping patients adhere to prescriptions. For instance, patients can be encouraged to use one pharmacy to improve the chances of refills. The pharmacy can also use over-the-counter consultations to find any barriers to adherence. Medication reviews can significantly help with consistency. Reviews help determine if a drug is no longer necessary or causing unwanted side effects. Correcting these issues will improve the quality of healthcare.
3. A trusted confidant in your doctor’s absence
Pharmacists have the unique ability to build long-term rapport with patients. In rural communities, for instance, the pharmacist ends up being the closest healthcare professional. Patients can easily access the pharmacist for quick questions or to report side effects. Furthermore, the pharmacy is a space that provides other value-added services. Some examples include blood pressure checks, cholesterol, blood sugar, and more. Now, both patient and pharmacist can make better decisions, such as going to the hospital if necessary. Trust and rapport mean the patient will be more likely to take action.
4. Get your medication compounded
One of the pharmacist’s skills is the power of compounding. Compounding is the process of combining multiple medications or ingredients into a single-use application. For example, the compound pharmacy can take several supplements and create a single gel capsule, liquid, or topical solution. Compounding helps with medicine adherence and supports people who have allergies or difficulty swallowing medication.
5. Playing a role in misuse and abuse of medication
More than 18 million Americans misuse and prescription drugs and opioids. Using prescriptions incorrectly can lead to adverse side effects, addiction, and even death. Today, the pharmacist can play an active role in reducing incidents through prescription management. The patient’s details in a database allow the pharmacist to become a gatekeeper to prevent abuse. Educational initiatives, teaching safe disposal, and working with health professionals are other helpful courses of action.
Trust your pharmacist
The pharmacist’s workload has increased to become a critical member of the medical process. For excellent healthcare, pharmacists play an active role in medication management. Instead of dispensing medication, the pharmacist also helps in terms of adherence and preventing misuse. These experts also have skills like compounding to make multiple medications easy to manage. Through building strong relationships and providing expert advice, patients are more likely to have a better quality of life.