Kaiser Health News Staff Writer, Anna Gorman wrote a very intriguing article recently, titled Pharmacists Increasingly Take On Clinical Roles. Without taking any thunder away from Anna’s story, to summarize she wrote about a patient with high blood pressure who’s doctor prescribed several medications that made her feel worse- she felt as if her heart were jumping out of her chest. It wasn’t until she consulted her pharmacist that they were able to figure out that the drugs in combination were the cause of the problem.
This story is not surprising to me. I’ve recently written about the communication barriers between pharmacists and prescribers and ways in which they can be overcome.
What is surprising to me is that more things are not being done, and done quickly, to facilitate change. I talk to a lot of pharmacists, and for the most part they are very smart and they want to be involved in the front lines of patient care. However, they generally lack the institutional support to initiate change. There are many explanations for why this has historically been the case (i.e. proof of pharmacy ROI and the absence of data to support decisions), but there is no explanation for why it can’t change rapidly.
We have entered the era where big data analytics are putting the right information in the right hands and it is time for pharmacists to embrace this data, and use this data to be a partner in patients’ care. Whether it is driving prescribing behavior through formulary decisions in a managed care setting or communicating directly with prescribers consistently, there are now tools available to support all decisions.
I invite you to take a look at what we are doing here at AdverseEvents by signing up for a 7 day complimentary trial of AdverseEvents Explorer.
Executive Vice President