The healthcare system is not only composed of the people you see in the hospital wearing robes, running tests, inserting needles, and doing a medical operation. The entire healthcare system is a composition of a broad picture. It has various connections that play a vital role in ensuring that proper health treatment is given.
We know that doctors and nurses play a crucial role in a healthcare system, but pharmacists play in the shadows. Doctors and nurses might be the frontrunners, but these frontrunners can’t do all the things they do if they’re not supported with a strong backbone — the pharmacists.
That’s why let’s take time to understand and give every pharmacist value as they play their crucial role in a comprehensive healthcare system.
We like to call them the expert in drug therapy management. If doctors and nurses are experts in health care administration, pharmacists, according to BuzzRx, are the team of experts that knows every drug composition, side effects, risks, and benefits.
In an ordinary eye, people only see pharmacists as mere individuals who distribute and hand them medicine. But that’s just a big misconception, and the pharmacists’ role goes deeper than that.
In a comprehensive health care team, pharmacists work side by side with a physician team and act as their medical counselors. At some point, pharmacists act as leading educators and advocates in teaching proper usage of every drug and relaying information of its components and efficacy.
This means pharmacists are best in administering the right drugs and can educate the patient and the community about different intaking medicines.
Many individuals often see that a pharmacist’s prominent role is just a mere drug administration, but we have clearly stated that it is not in the previous paragraph.
As time changes, pharmacists’ role is also expanding as they are now playing a more crucial role in a healthcare team. Before, pharmacists were viewed as mere drug administrators, but this time, they are now creating healthcare teams, sitting beside GPs, physiotherapists, and counselors together with the patient and their families. This time, pharmacists’ roles are getting broadened as they can now impart their knowledge and input to ensure that the patient’s entire health is handled professionally.
From the last 20 years, modern pharmacists have now taken the move to review a patient’s medication profile formally. With this capability, pharmacists can now assist physicians in highlighting the best drug therapy treatment to optimize medication efficacy and reduce the possible occurrence of side effects.
In a holistic healthcare system, pharmacists can perform functions and actions to ensure an optimal healthcare service. These primary core responsibilities are performed with approval and collaboration with other attending physicians.
Pharmacists can do the following:
- Review patient assessment for medication-related factors
- Order necessary laboratory tests to monitor possible outcome from a medication therapy
- Interpret and analyze data related to medication efficacy and safety
- Advise or initiate changes or modification in the medication therapy to ensure optimum results following patient responses
- Provide information, educate, and counsel the patient and the family about medication-related care
- Conduct proper documentation with the care being provided
Pharmacists can do expanded functions as well. This means their actions can include and be expanded to conduct professional primary care functions to promote better health and drug therapy management to the patient.
Provide individualized health promotion and disease prevention, including administering immunizations where this is legally and organizationally authorized.
Perform limited physical assessment and supervise medication therapy with appropriate collaborative drug therapy management authority.
To have a better understanding and perspective of what pharmacists can do, here are the main services they perform. However, some of these are expanded functions and can only be performed depending on each state’s legalization.
Medication Management. Pharmacists are given the role of handling patient documentation, medication monitoring, review, and adjusting drug therapy management when deemed necessary.
Medication Reconciliation. Pharmacists play a crucial effort to avoid medication errors such as omissions, duplications, dosing errors, or drug interactions.
Preventive Services (Screening and Immunization.) This is an expanded function of a pharmacist (clinical pharmacists) where they can conduct vaccination and immunization (depend on each state’s scope of practice)
Education and Behavioral Counseling. Pharmacist-provided education and behavioral counseling can occur as one component of other interventions.
Collaborative Drug Therapy Management. It’s a practice agreement between one or more physicians and pharmacists to work within the context of a protocol that permits the pharmacist to assume professional responsibility in conducting a patient assessment.
Pharmacists are now growing and expanding their role in the medical field from a mere drug-dispenser and drug administrator. They are currently playing big and joining professional health administrators to ensure that the patient’s health is being handled holistically and professionally. They are now more than what they are usually perceived to be.