Medications can be beneficial when used correctly as they help prevent and treat diseases. But if misused, they can pose a severe risk to those who take them. Unwanted outcomes, referred to as adverse effects, may happen when taking any medication.
Healthcare teams of physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers must carefully consider the possible risks and advantages of the drugs they suggest to ensure patient safety.
Pharmacists collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide optimal patient care in various settings, from community pharmacies to hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Ways pharmacists’ expertise contributes to optimal medication use
Here are ways pharmacists’ expertise contributes to optimal medication use.
Therapeutic selection is when pharmacists use their expertise to determine which medication is most appropriate for a patient to attain optimal medication use. Pharmacists can utilize their training in pharmacology, drug interactions, patient drug utilization history, and other relevant factors to evaluate patients’ needs in selecting the most appropriate agents to treat their condition.
Pharmacists help prescribers select the best drug regimen for the intended therapy by conducting a drug utilization review. Pharmacists use their expertise to monitor the patient’s progress and make changes in treatment if necessary.
The selection of the right drug leads to better clinical outcomes and helps reduce healthcare costs and medication errors.
Drug interaction detection
Drug interaction detection is an approach pharmacists use to ensure patients take the proper medication for their condition. This is an integral part of medication optimization, as pharmacists can review a patient’s medication profile to identify potential drug allergies or incompatibilities that might cause an adverse reaction and help the patient avoid future errors.
Pharmacists use their specialized knowledge of medications and patient care to identify available therapeutic options based on their health history, allergies, age, and other factors influencing medication use. This provides the patient with optimal medication therapy while minimizing potential adverse effects and high-risk pharmaceutical interactions.
Drug dosing determines the proper dosage and frequency of medications to provide patients with the most effective and safest care possible. It is a complex process involving the patient’s medical history, age, body weight, other medical conditions, and individual response to medication.
Pharmacists use their expertise and knowledge in pharmacy practice to identify an optimal dosage for a medication and help customize it to the patient’s needs. They provide guidance and evaluate the dosing before prescription so that it does not cause harm or therapeutic failure.
This may include ensuring that doses are not overprescribed or that the amount is appropriate for the patient’s weight, age, and other medical conditions. They can also monitor dosing regimens for efficacy and safety over time and recommend changes if necessary.
Ways pharmacists’ expertise contributes to patient safety
Here are the ways pharmacists’ expertise contributes to patient safety.
Ensuring medication access
The high cost of health care, particularly prescription medications, can hinder patients from achieving the desired results of their treatment. This expense can lead to patients skipping doses or not taking the medicine as prescribed solely because of the cost.
Failing to take prescribed medications can be financially burdensome for patients and healthcare providers as they can result in the patient needing to return to the hospital.
Pharmacists are knowledgeable and equipped to help patients cope with medication expenses. If a patient’s insurance is proving to be an obstacle, pharmacists can contact the corresponding insurance company to find solutions that make medications more cost-effective.
Many drug manufacturers have patient-assistance programs that can significantly reduce or even eliminate the cost of some medications, and pharmacists can help patients enroll in them.
There are various ways to evaluate the effects of a particular patient-care action on the patient and the health care system. While some of these assessments are easily quantifiable, such as when a patient stays in the hospital, others are difficult to measure.
The emphasis for patients is typically on the quality of life, the expense of medical treatment, and their level of contentment with the care they receive. Pharmacists’ actions to bolster patient safety typically benefit the patient and the health care system.
Supplying medication information
Pharmacists are highly knowledgeable about medications and are very easy to reach when you need advice or help concerning your health. They are an integral part of the healthcare system.
Pharmacists possess a wealth of expertise concerning medications, ranging from simple over-the-counter drugs to complex drugs used to treat cancer. They are in a position to provide valuable medication-related advice to patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.
People are then able to use medications safely and get the most significant advantage out of them.
For potential students asking but what can you do with a PharmD, the University of Findlay has all the answers. Their program provides comprehensive preparation for obtaining licensure as a pharmacist and assisting in improving the quality of life for patients in the local community.
Improving medication adherence
Medication adherence involves taking medications in the manner and at the frequency prescribed by a healthcare professional. Failure to do so can lead to severe detrimental consequences, including unwanted side effects or expensive hospital stays.
Forgetting to take medication or having an expired prescription refilled are among the most common reasons for people not following their prescribed medication regimen. Pharmacists are often the only medical professionals with an exhaustive overview of a patient’s medications.
Consequently, pharmacists can evaluate and enhance medication adherence with the patient’s medical care team.
The complexity of healthcare necessitates the active participation of the entire healthcare team to draw upon their skills and expertise. Pharmacists must be included as part of the healthcare team to ensure effective management of medications for patients.
They draw on their comprehensive knowledge and skills to provide a wide range of services essential to helping people get the best care possible in community pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and beyond. Ultimately, their services enhance patient care and help ensure patient safety.