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Pharmacy forms the central part of the healthcare delivery system. Pharmacist ensures effective, safe and efficient management of medicine with the ultimate focus on the patient well-being. In the last ten years, developing evidence has been demonstrating a positive impact of the clinical pharmacy services on the patient outcome (Tietze, 2012). As a consequence, the department of health recognizes that pharmacist clinical expertise forms and integral part of delivering quality health services in the health care delivery system. To comprehend the role of pharmacy in the healthcare setting, it is essential to understand the pharmacy setting and its interaction with other key departments in the health care system.
Services Offered in Pharmacy
Pharmacy in a clinical setting is defined as a field of practices, where the pharmacists provide services that enhance the medicine therapy and promotes patient’s wellbeing, health and overall illness prevention. The pharmacy setting normally embraces the model of both pharmaceutical care and medicine management (Rebholz, 2007). The management model entails the whole process through which medications are procured, prescribed and administered to the patients. Moreover, it encompasses the review of the medicine to evaluate its role in the production of intended health outcome to the patient. The pharmacist dispenses drug prescriptions and other medications, conduct testing and screening of common conditions, and offer advice on minor ailments. Health checks executed by the pharmacist included blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure testing (Ferrante et al., 2010). Furthermore, the pharmacy department checks and monitor patients’ prescription on the hospital ward. The pharmacy department evaluates whether the prescription will interact negatively with other drugs prescribed to the patient. However, it is worth noting that the primary role of the pharmacist is dispensation of prescription and verification of the instructions from a physician on the proper amount of medication to provide to the patient (Rebholz, 2007). The pharmacist also oversees the work of the pharmacy technician and supervises the interns on record keeping and other administrative tasks.
Key Personnel within the Pharmacy Department
The pharmacy department team is composed of the Pharmacist, IV, the unit dose, supply technician, IT pharmacist and the technicians, pharmacy buyer, pharmacy educator, clinical coordinator, operation manager and the pharmacy director (Ferrante et al., 2010). The team works in collaboration in order to enhance the patient care and to produce desired or positive outcomes. The department team participates in multi-disciplinary rounds to review the appropriate medications, assist with reconciliation, notify the physician on the possible harmful consequence of the medication and assess the patient allergic information, among other functions (Ferrante et al., 2010). The pharmacy department works together with the hospital management to institute and implement the program that enhances services provided in the pharmacy.
How the Department Supports Other Departments
The pharmacy department function is integrated with other departments in the hospital in order to optimize the service delivery to the patient. The department works with physician, nurses and other medical professionals in the healthcare settings in order to achieve the desired therapeutic outcomes, improve medication use and prevent drug-related complications (Borkan et al., 2010). The pharmacy department further collaborates with other departments such as emergency department, adult medical unit, operating room, trauma care unit, neurovascular unit, neonatal intensive care unit among others. Shared patient’s information between the pharmacy and other departments ensure appropriate prescription of medication in respect to the patient needs (Borkan et al., 2010).
Two New Trends on the Pharmacy Setting
Shifting role of a Pharmacist
In the modern world, the consumers have realized that the function of dispensing medication can be complimented by a more active role in the medication therapy management (MTM) and other medical services. The pharmacy practitioner is gradually becoming a provider, particularly with a reduction in the number of primary care physicians and increase in a number of patients (Borkan et al., 2010). It has been recognized that a pharmacist embodies an underutilized potential that can be used to play a ssignificant role in providing cognitive, clinical services to the patients.
Patient Population Change
Although the pharmacist priority is to serve the patient to best of their potential, this is becoming difficult since the U.S. patient population is becoming more diverse in terms of race, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and health beliefs (Borkan et al., 2010). Such trends and changes have presented multiple problems to the provision of optimal health care. The trend is complicating the ability of the pharmacist to deliver their services because people usually hold on to their beliefs about disease and medication, hence the pharmacist need to adjust therapeutic treatment in accordance to these beliefs.
The Impact of the Trends on Outpatient Settings
In respect to the constant expanding patient base, expanding the clinical role of the pharmacists has been perceived to be imperative. Moreover, there is an enormous focus on connectivity and struggle to ensure that the pharmacy can share pertinent information across all aspects of the health care system, including the provider, patient and the payer (Carr, 2010) Understanding that pharmacist represent highly educated clinical professional resources has seen an increase in roles and responsibility they are expected to execute. Other than the provision of clinical services, they have been mandated to collect essential data that can be used throughout the healthcare continuum (Carr, 2010). The expansion of the pharmacy department portfolio has significantly improved the delivery of outpatient healthcare service in most health facilities.
Population change trend have been found to affect the healthy services delivery in the outpatient settings. Expansion of population has made health disparities among this population an area of particular concern. According to the Harvard forum on health, approximately 20 and 65% of the whites and African Americans, respectively, uphold that minorities usually receive low-quality healthcare than the whites (Tietze, 2012). This has created a perception that healthcare professional treats the minority and white patients differently. From the above data, pharmacist needs to take extra caution to ensure that they provide quality care to all outpatients.