Some people believe that the pharmacist’s role is to sell drugs or any product available to the patient without further involvement and that no training is needed for that job. However, the role of a pharmacist goes beyond simple customer service.
It is true that many professionals in this area assume that role without establishing a relationship with the patient. Despite this, there are many pharmacists who do their job in the health area, which is essential and important when it comes to avoiding medication errors and improving treatment.
How is pharmaceutical care defined?
In technical terms, pharmaceutical care is said to be the active participation of the pharmacist in patient care , in the dispensing and monitoring of a pharmacotherapeutic treatment, cooperating with the doctor and other health professionals in order to achieve results that improve the quality of the treatment. life the patient.
In other words, a good pharmaceutical care consists of the pharmacist initiating a conversation with the patient when he is going to dispense the required medication, informing him about all the important aspects that he must take into account when administering it or keeping it, as per example:
- Dosage , that is, if the medication has not been prescribed by the doctor, the pharmacist should inform the patient about when it is best to take the drug, the recommended doses and the frequency of administration.
- How to keep the medicine
- Other important features to consider the drug.
If the patient is following a certain treatment, the pharmacist should be interested in its evolution and know if it is being effective .
In this way he tries to cooperate with the health personnel developing good pharmaceutical care. And in the case that treatment is failing, propose changes and improvements to ensure the health of the patient and improve their quality of life.
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Role of the pharmacist to perform good pharmaceutical care
The pharmacist is committed to trying to fulfill the objective of guaranteeing the efficiency and therapeutic efficacy as well as the safety and quality of life of the patient.
In short, the pharmacist, as well aware of the difficulty of establishing a good risk-benefit relationship provided by pharmacotherapeutic treatments, should be aware of the opportunities for improvement in the quality of pharmacotherapy received by the patient and identify those that prevent a good therapeutic result.
In order to achieve its objectives, the pharmacist must perform a series of activities related to good pharmaceutical care.
Characteristics of the pharmacist
These are the characteristics that a good pharmacist must meet:
- Decision-maker : must have the ability to evaluate, summarize data and information and decide on the most appropriate line of therapeutic action.
- Communicator : must be well informed and safe while interacting with other health professionals and the patient. Communication includes verbal, non-verbal, listening and writing skills.
- Caregiver : pharmacists provide care services, therefore their practice must be integrated and be continuous with those of the healthcare system.
- Manager : professionals in this area must be able to effectively manage available resources and information.
- Permanent student : the concepts, principles and obligations of continuing education must begin while the degree of pharmacy is being studied and must be maintained throughout the career as a pharmacist.
- Professor : the pharmacist has the responsibility to help in the training and training of future generations of pharmacists and the public.
- Researcher : must be able to use the evidence base effectively to advise on the rational use of medications. It must share and document experiences in order to contribute to the evidence base in order to optimize the care of patients.
- Leader : leadership implies concern and empathy, as well as vision and the ability to make decisions, communicate them, and manage them effectively.
Problems related to medicines (PRM)
The pharmacotherapeutic follow-up is one of the services offered by good pharmaceutical care. As well mentioned above, it is defined as the professional practice in which the pharmacist is responsible for the patient’s needs related to medicines.
This is done through the detection, prevention and resolution of medication-related problems ( PRM ).
This monitoring must be done continuously, systematized and documented , in collaboration with the patient himself and with the other professionals of the health system. The aim is to achieve results that improve the quality of life of the patient.
Now, what is a PRM? It is a health problem due to pharmacotherapy, which interferes or may interfere with the health outcomes expected in the patient.
To understand this definition we must know the meaning of health problem. This is any complaint, observation or fact that the patient or health personnel perceive as a deviation from the normality that has affected, may affect or affect the functional capacity of the patient.
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Types of medication errors
When we talk about PRM, we want to indicate that something has not worked as it should. This can happen either because the desired effect has not been produced, an unintended effect has occurred or because there is a question of no need.
According to the above, the problems related to medication that can be avoided thanks to good pharmaceutical care can be classified obeying three types of major failures:
- PRM or failures due to lack of effectiveness of the therapy.
- PRM or security failures in the treatment.
- PRM or failures that affect the need or not of the medication.
In addition, depending on whether they are qualitative or quantitative in the case of lack of effectiveness or safety, they could be classified in a higher order.