By: Dr. Cooper, The Pharmacist – Dr. Tremain Cooper, LLC.
If healthcare professionals are completely real, we should be able to state the fact that no one really pays attention to the appropriateness of a patients medication regimen. We pay more attention to the process of getting them a medication. In large part, it’s due to the prescription drug being viewed as a commodity; also an easy way to claim care for a patient. The real impact shows up in the perception of the patient about medication. Wherefore, patient behaviors, medication adherence, and healthy outcomes are a direct reflection of a patient’s perception about medication. Also, far too many patients make decisions about their health based solely on the dollar amount. What should be done to shift the perception of the prescription drug from a commercialized product to a pharmacy procedure necessary for healthy outcomes? It will be through the time and effort dedicated to finding the best drug for the patient and patient’s lifestyle. Once a patient experiences the extent to which a medication has been selected, then their perceptions begin to shift. The impact on patient behaviors, medication adherence, and healthy outcomes will be paramount. Below I give 5 ways we can begin to shift the perception of medication into a pharmacy procedure necessary for healthy outcomes.
1. Legislation should reassign prescribing responsibility and liability to qualified pharmacists. Diagnosing and prescribing are two totally different but interdependent disciplines. I believe it’s very tough for physicians to simultaneously perform both disciplines exceptionally well. Proper diagnosis by a physician is more involved than just naming a condition. By the same token, there are more medication factors to consider with prescribing than just writing a prescription of which pharmacists identify very well.
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2. Focus on the patient. Patients achieve and accomplish treatment goals. Do not focus on the numbers. Numbers alone do not achieve treatment goals. Drugs alone do not achieve treatment goals. Electronic Health Records alone do not achieve treatment goals. Health Information Technology alone does not achieve treatment goals. Automation alone will not achieve treatment goals. If the patient does not believe in the treatment within the privacy of their own homes, then healthy treatment outcomes will not happen.
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3. Prescription drugs should only be dispensed in a pharmacist office. It’s difficult for patients to hold on to the significance of treatment when prescription drugs are sold in the same place as swisher sweets, raid bug spray, hot pockets, and paper plates.
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4. Medication therapy should be a procedure. Every medication should have a billing code. Every medication should have a procedural code. The time invested to construct a thorough medication regimen should be compensated. Support legislation H.R. 4190.
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