Understanding the Role of Pharmacists in Healthcare
Understanding the Role of Pharmacists in Healthcare is essential to achieving a patient-focused healthcare system. This will require a shift in funding and regulation that supports pharmacists as critical members of a sustainable healthcare team.
Pharmacists review prescriptions to ensure patients receive the correct medications and have no harmful effects from interactions with other medicines. These professionals also communicate with doctors to discuss alternative medications and changes in dosage.
Pharmacists are a vital part of the healthcare team.
Pharmacists are crucial as medication experts in ensuring patients receive the most appropriate medications. This is particularly important for patients with multiple conditions, who may need to take several prescription drugs simultaneously. This can result in interactions, leading to adverse effects and reducing their overall health outcomes.
Pharmacists have unique drug knowledge and can guide other healthcare team members in improving patient care. They can also help with patient advocacy and education. They can also serve on healthcare management committees.
If your institution has a quality management department, it is a good idea to meet with the staff and identify opportunities for collaboration. This can help improve patient safety and save money by reducing waste, medication errors, or unnecessary hospital admissions. This could also increase pharmacy revenue and improve inventory control. Moreover, the stewardship programs of pharmacists can prevent costly over-medication and promote drug adherence among patients.
They review prescriptions
Pharmacists often review a prescription before it is dispensed as part of their role in patient safety. This process is known as Drug Utilization Review (DUR). It helps identify opportunities for improvement in how a patient is being treated and can also improve overall drug effectiveness.
A DUR review includes an evaluation of the medication order against the patient’s medical and pharmacy history. It also checks for potential adverse reactions and interactions between drugs. This is especially important in patients with multiple chronic conditions who may take several medications.
DUR is performed in the hospital setting and by some community pharmacies. This is a crucial step in improving patient care, as it allows the pharmacist to make informed decisions that can help reduce medication-related problems and improve patient outcomes. It can also save money by suggesting cheaper alternatives or prescribing medication covered by insurance. To increase their utility, DUR programs should be implemented in other settings, such as primary health care.
They educate patients
The number of medications on the market has increased, and knowing which is suitable for a particular patient can be challenging. Pharmacists help prescribers and patients determine which drugs will work best. They also educate patients on how to take their medication, avoiding negative interactions and side effects.
Many studies have shown that pharmacists are critical healthcare team members and can reduce costs. But it is essential to ensure drug store has the resources they need to be effective, especially in rural areas.
If your institution has a quality management department, it is worth meeting with them to discuss possible opportunities for collaboration. They can give you access to data and may also be in charge of submitting reports to the Joint Commission, CMS, etc. Involvement in these activities will enhance pharmacists’ ability to contribute to overall healthcare quality improvements. This is especially crucial in today’s challenging economic climate.
They dispense medications
Pharmacists have a unique position within the health care system and are best positioned to coordinate medication management. Their role is not only to dispense medications but also to provide advice and counseling to patients and healthcare providers on drug interactions, cost-effectiveness, and safety. Studies have shown that pharmacist involvement in prescribing and delivery processes can lead to a reduction in adverse drug events, reduce hospital admissions, and enhance patient monitoring. However, this role is often not recognized or valued by other health professionals and needs to be integrated into a sustainable model of care.
A vital component of this integration is a culture of safety, where health professionals are encouraged to report errors and near-misses without fear of reprimand. This type of reporting can improve patient outcomes, which is critical for a healthy work environment. Pharmacists can help improve this culture by offering advice and counseling on various issues, including drug side effects, drug interactions, and appropriate dosing.