Empowering Patients through Pharmacy Consults
One of the most powerful tools in the South Carolina House Calls (SCHC) arsenal to help patients avoid unnecessary hospitalizations is the pharmacy consult. The consults are performed exclusively through telehealth visits for new patients transitioning in care, existing patients who need a medication review, and those requested by a provider.
A consult provides a proactive path for a medication review process. The consult aims to recommend appropriate medication therapies and educate patients about their prescriptions and disease processes. It also allows the pharmacist to look for medications that could be eliminated—for example, drugs prescribed to treat side effects of other medicines. If an alternative treatment without side effects is available, there is a potential for the patient’s medications to be reduced.
Experience dictates that patients are not always the best resource for providing an accurate inventory of their medications. Utilizing Home Health or a Nurse Practitioner can aid the pharmacist in acquiring better accounting. NP’s additionally have access to the pharmacist’s knowledge base in real-time whenever they have questions about drug interactions or any medications, they are considering prescribing.
Casy Herring, Telehealth Medicine Pharmacist for SCHC, said, “When performing a pharmacy consult, I like to share my personal experiences and empathize with my patients. It helps strengthen our relationship. At the end-of-the-day, I want my patients to feel empowered about their medication decisions and in a position to take control of their health.”