October is American Pharmacists Month so I thought it would be especially appropriate to discuss the many ways a pharmacist can help you manage your medications and improve your overall health.
What Can Your Pharmacist Do for Your Health?
Medication Therapy Management
One of the best ways that a pharmacist can help you is to conduct a review of your medications. Medication Therapy Management, or MTM, helps patients get the most benefit from their medications by managing drug therapy. Preventing and resolving medication-related problems is one of the services we can provide to patients to ensure they are receiving exceptional care. During these drug reviews we can also identify gaps in therapy, problems with compliance, and provide some ideas about alternate therapy if the patient is concerned about the cost of their medications.
Oftentimes we find that patients pick up medications at different times during the month. We can synchronize their medications so they all can be filled on the same day so the patient only needs to pick up once per month. In addition, if the patient has trouble remembering when to take their medications, we can provide them in a compliance package, or what we call bubble packs. Medications are organized in these packs based on the time of day they should be taken so the patient takes their medications at the right time every day. We provide this service at no additional charge. Medication compliance is an important reason that patients have better outcomes. When you forget to take your medications regularly, which we call non-adherence, your chronic disease is not managed well and can lead to more hospital admissions and suboptimal outcomes. Studies have shown that non-adherence can lead to overall higher health care costs.
Give Their Expertise
Our CHI Health outpatient pharmacists can also provide free blood pressure checks, administer immunizations, and offer advice on OTC products. Pharmacists are easily accessible to answer questions or provide their expertise on many different topics. Medicare open enrollment also occurs in October, so your pharmacist can also help you compare Medicare plans to determine which one is right for you.
As you can see, pharmacists are an important part of your health care team. If you have any concerns or questions about your medications please contact your nearest CHI Health pharmacy.