My thoughts recently have revolved around the practice of pharmacy and the possibility of expanding health-care services offered to me, as a patient, by my pharmacist. What do I want my pharmacist to do for me?
Pharmacists I know, or have met at various events, exhibit a passion for helping their patients understand their medications. These pharmacists desire to
… distribute drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. … advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.1
I like that.
Friends share their medication profile with Val. He reviews those lists searching for various specific symptoms amongst the plethora of side-effects and potential drug interactions. His efforts are appreciated because those drug reviews are valued by those individuals. He addresses their issues and needs.
We both like that.
And that is what I look for in my pharmacists as well! The confidence that someone is watching out for me in regards to the chemicals I introduce into my body is important to me. I want my pharmacist focused on my drugs and dosages.
Many efforts underway recently may expand (or have already allowed) a pharmacists’ practice to include additional services such as giving injections for various immunizations, offering smoking cessation “classes”, phlebotomy and related lab work. Some may even allow pharmacists to provide additional healthcare services.
From my viewpoint, the expansion of pharmacy into these arenas may dilute their ability to concentrate on me in regards to my prescriptions.
Concentrated can be defined as
present in a high proportion relative to other substances; having had water or other diluting agent removed or reduced or wholly directed to one thing.2
I begin to question if my pharmacist’s attention and priority are my meds while occupied with other patients’ classes, injections or other activities. Do these opportunities for pharmacists, dilute attention to me and my prescriptions? Does this dilute what pharmacists want to do? Is concentration of the pharmacists services a better strategy? Are both expansion and contraction of services appropriate and specific to a given practice setting?
I don’t have answers. Do you? Please share your views!
1 Contained in a post from Granby Pharmacy in Granby CT. See also What Does a Pharmacist Do?
2 Google definition