Monday, October 14, 2013
During National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 20-26, 2013, many hospitals around the state will provide educational activities regarding medications. This is in an effort to help patients optimize their medical treatment. An example of this is a “Brown Bag” event where patients bring their medications for a pharmacist to review regarding purpose, how and when to take each medication, and potential side effects. Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. will provide this service on October 15, 2013 from 11am until 1pm in the main lobby for any member of the community that is interested. University of Mississippi pharmacy students and local pharmacists will assist with the medication review process. Blood pressure screenings will also be available. Patients will receive a list of current medications with indications and how to take them. This list is important as each patient’s healthcare provider should have a current medication list.
“Many consumers are not aware that pharmacists play a critical role in preventing medication errors, advising prescribers on all aspects of medication therapy, and working directly with patients to ensure they understand how to use their medications safely and effectively,” said Andrew Mays, PharmD. “Pharmacy Week is a great way to educate the public about how pharmacists can help them get the most benefit from their medicine.”
Pharmacists will use National Hospital & Health-System Pharmacy Week to underscore the many new and vital roles they now play in patient care. The evolution has been especially dramatic in recent years as pharmacists have moved beyond compounding and dispensing medications to become vital members of multidisciplinary patient-care teams.
Mays added, “Hospital and health-system pharmacists have been able to take on enhanced patient-care roles because of a number of factors, including the deployment of highly trained, certified technicians and new technologies like robotics that dispense medications. As technology evolves—such as the addition of machine-readable codes to medication labels—patients will have greater opportunities to have a pharmacist involved in their care.”
Pharmacists are experts on the thousands of medications available today, how each one works in the body, and the ways to use each one safely and effectively. Pharmacists who graduate today receive extensive education focused on medication therapy, and many pharmacists practicing in hospitals and health systems also complete post-graduate residency programs. They advise doctors and nurses on the best medications and monitor every patient’s medication therapy and provide quality checks to detect and prevent harmful drug interactions, reactions, or mistakes.
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