Pharmacy Care – Your Path to Well-Being
Pharmacists are medication experts who enhance patient care and promote wellness. They work closely with physicians and other health professionals to ensure that patients are receiving medications that contribute to positive outcomes.
Blue Shield is committed to making prescription drug costs transparent and affordable for our members. This is why we partner with innovative organizations like Evio Pharmacy Solutions and Gemini Health that are delivering on the vision of Pharmacy Care: Your Path to Well-Being.
What is Pharmacy Care?
As medication experts, pharmacists are able to identify the best medicine for each patient and make sure that their prescriptions and dosages are correct. They have deep knowledge of the composition of medications, how they are absorbed and metabolized in the body, and how they interact with other drugs. This expertise enables them to enhance overall health outcomes for patients and provide valuable services in a range of settings.
Adding to their ability to improve medication adherence and therapeutic outcomes, many pharmacists are culturally competent healthcare providers that can evaluate and address the many barriers that may prevent a patient from adhering to their medication regimens – these may include food insecurity, lack of transportation or language difficulties. They can also advise patients on lifestyle modifications and other aspects of wellness that may help to mitigate the impact of their medication.
When pharmacists are engaged as collaborative members of care teams, patients benefit from improved medication outcomes and a reduction in overall health costs. This is supported by numerous studies and the fact that integrating pharmacists into a variety of health care delivery models is associated with better health outcomes and cost savings.
However, our respondents note several challenges to achieving this vision for pharmacy care. For example, a focus on productivity metrics in some pharmacies may deter the implementation of clinical activities. In addition, not all payers view the value of pharmacists in a similar way; those that don’t have their own PBM line of business are less likely to support the integration of pharmacists into their care delivery systems. In these instances, a shift in thinking is required to bring this vision of pharmacy care to fruition.
Taking a proactive approach to preventive care is the key to staying healthy. Regular visits to your doctor can help detect and treat health issues before they become serious, and they can also keep you on the right track for your future health.
In addition to helping patients manage their medications, clinical pharmacists provide wellness services, such as smoking cessation and blood pressure monitoring. They can also provide point-of-care testing, such as screening for strep throat or influenza, and administer immunizations. express rx
While a lot of work is involved in the field of pharmacy, it can be very rewarding as well. Individuals interested in this type of health care often spend a lot of time on their feet and may be required to work various shifts (nights, weekends, holidays). They will also be expected to consult closely with physicians and other members of the medical staff to ensure that correct and safe medications are prescribed for each patient.
Preventive care is the best way to avoid a costly and sometimes life-threatening illness. As the pandemic continues to unfold, it is important to prioritize preventive care, and to visit your physician or other CDPHP-recognized provider on a regular basis.
For example, the Duquesne University Center for Pharmacy Care provides wellness and disease prevention programs for its campus and community, including healthy living seminars, lifestyle counseling, and drug therapy management. This program is designed to address health issues, such as hypertension and diabetes, that can be difficult for patients to manage alone. The CDC’s Hypertension Medication Adherence Guides offer public health practitioners and other healthcare professionals strategies to engage pharmacists in hypertension management through team-based care. For more information on this initiative, visit the CDC’s website.
Medication management involves monitoring your medication regimen to guarantee you are taking the correct dosage of your prescription and to prevent potentially harmful drug interactions or side effects. It also includes addressing any additional issues that could affect your health, such as food and supplements or any emotional or financial barriers.
Medication reconciliation is an essential component to effective care transitions, especially when a patient transfers from one healthcare setting to another, or when medications are modified or adjusted by multiple prescribers. Frequently, these changes in the patients’ medication regimen can lead to poor adherence and potential adverse drug events (ADEs).
Patient counseling interventions during a care transitions are vital to a patient’s success in adhering to their medication plan. This is particularly true for patients who have complex or highly prescribed drug regimens. Providing patient counseling and education can significantly reduce serious ADEs, avoidable emergency visits or hospital readmissions due to medication-related complications.
Successful MMCT models include pharmacy-based interventions to help ensure proper medication use by addressing the wide range of barriers that patients encounter. While a significant percentage of these barriers can be eliminated with the use of an effective medication list and good communication between healthcare professionals, there are other factors that require more in-depth intervention.
Most MMCT programs involve multidisciplinary team collaboration to provide comprehensive support for the medication-related care transitions of their patients. Many of these programs have integrated student pharmacist interns, postgraduate pharmacy residents and/or pharmacy technicians to supplement their staff resources. This has allowed them to effectively implement their care transitions models, even in the face of limited staffing resources. They have also been able to establish strong partnerships with community pharmacies, regional pharmacy chains, health clinic pharmacies, home infusion pharmacies and Visiting Nurse Associations.
As a member of the health care team, pharmacists can make an important contribution to a patient’s overall treatment plan. They can help monitor a patient’s symptoms, educate them on their condition and recommend lifestyle modifications that will improve outcomes. Increasingly, patients with chronic conditions are relying on pharmacists to coordinate their care. For instance, in a pilot study, Duquesne University’s Center for Pharmacy Care provided wellness and disease management services to students and the community including lifestyle counseling, medication therapy review, travel health counseling, asthma education and blood pressure screening. The results showed that a pharmacist-coordinated CDM program can lead to improved clinical and humanistic outcomes including medication adherence, cholesterol management, smoking cessation and more.
Pharmacists can also work closely with physicians to ensure that the right medications are being used at the right time. Using their specialized knowledge of drug interaction and side effects, they can optimize the use of prescribed medications for better patient outcomes. This is called clinical pharmacy, and it is a growing area of practice.
Many people feel comfortable talking to their pharmacist about their health, especially if they have questions about a new symptom or concern. This is because they are easy to reach, and they can provide initial aid or expedite a visit to the doctor if needed.
Research shows that community pharmacists can play an important role during a pandemic, and that they are uniquely positioned to offer patient-centered care and chronic disease management services. However, implementing these services may require changes in reimbursement models that will support a pharmacist’s unique skill set. This resource will highlight ways to incorporate these services into a community pharmacy workflow, including strategies and examples of successful programs.
The ability to counsel patients on their medication is an integral part of the pharmaceutical care that pharmacists provide. Counseling can be used to help patients understand their medications, their side effects and drug interactions and to encourage them to take their medicines as prescribed. It can also be used to help patients with their health and wellness goals. Counseling is important because it can lead to healthier lifestyles and improve the quality of life for many patients.
Pharmacists often use their counseling skills to help patients overcome barriers that may prevent them from taking their medicine or meeting their health goals. For example, if a patient is struggling to remember their pill bottles, a pharmacist can help them develop a schedule that will make it easier for them to take their medications on time. The pharmacist can also help the patient find ways to keep track of their medications that do not require a pill bottle, such as using a calendar or putting reminders on their phone.
In addition to counseling, pharmacies also offer a variety of other health and wellness services. These can include screening programs for common disease states (e.g., asthma, diabetes cardiovascular disease) and nutritional planning and weight loss or smoking cessation counseling.
The AMCP supports the recognition and compensation of pharmacists who provide these services. As the medication expert in the patient care team, pharmacists are uniquely qualified to offer these services and their unique knowledge of the composition of medications, the pharmacological properties of drugs and their clinical uses. In addition, their specialized education prepares them to work in a wide range of healthcare settings including hospitals and their affiliated outpatient clinics, physician offices and community-based clinics.Author: JazzyExpert