What is Pharmaceutical Care? A lengthy and boring definition is "the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving specific positive therapeutic outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life."
A short and simple definition is the pharmacist "finds" the drug-related needs of a patient and "designs" easy-to-follow plans for reaching "good" results.
How does it work? The patient, not the drug product, becomes the focus of this service. A physician "refers" a patient for Pharmaceutical Care via the usual ways of a prescription order – a simple telephone call, a FAX order or on a prescription blank. The Pharmaceutical Care pharmacist will schedule the patient (appointment-only basis) for an in-depth interaction session to discuss the patient’s disease management and/or drug therapy.
$? $? $? Who pays for the service? The Pharmaceutical Care pharmacists will, at all cost, bill and seek reimbursement from managed care payers, if such structure is already in place with the payers. The alternative of self-pay by patients will be discussed prior to initiation of any Pharmaceutical Care.
For the Patients: Patients will be well-informed about their health issues and that they are using their medication properly (prevent harmful drug interactions; reduce risk of side effects; help patients follow their physicians’ intentions in taking the prescription drugs) But most importantly, it helps patients be more healthy.
For the Physicians: Physicians will be receiving progress information on their Pharmaceutical Care patients. The time usually spent in educating patients in disease management can be used more efficiently via this team-work approach.
For the Pharmacists: The career satisfaction is immeasurable since Pharmaceutical Care focuses on why most pharmacists took up the profession.
For the Health Care Dollars: Drug-related (improper medication use) morbidity and mortality would decrease from $76 billion to approximately $36 billion.
Does the patient have to have their prescription medications filled at Sycamore? This service is patient-focus, not drug product-focus, thus Pharmaceutical Care may or may not be linked to a prescription filled at the pharmacy.
Disease management currently available are Diabetes and Asthma. As the scope of management increases, we will communicate the additional services to the medical community via future newsletters. Thank you for your referrals.