Pharmacists in the Primary Care Setting?

by pharmacy on April 17, 2013

Many pharmacists are finding employment in an uncommon setting in 2013—primary care facilities. This care model enables pharmacists to focus on patient care. Pharmacists that work in this type of facility offer medication information, health and wellness screenings such as diabetes screening, and more. Pharmacists that opt to take these positions save patients time and possibly expensive hospital trips, as well as saving hospitals valuable time and resources.

Offsetting costs and increasing overall customer satisfaction are vital to any successful primary care setting. Pharmacists can integrate their services into a primary care office with a little time and effort. May primary care areas are open to funding trial projects if their budget has the funds available. Stressing the overall customer satisfaction rate, the amount of time saved by a clinic that has a pharmacist on staff, and other benefits, such as reducing overall medication costs, are crucial to finding a place in a primary care setting.

Pharmacists can offer patients significant health benefits when added to a PCP team. Patients with diabetes, hypertension, or another commonly treated condition can benefit greatly from having a pharmacist available to discuss issues with. Adding a pharmacist to a PCP team ensures that patients have access to someone that has extensive knowledge of medication regimes that can often be complicated and exhausting to remember. Pharmacists can streamline programs and offer suggestions to help clients manage their conditions easily, while preventing medication abuse and following up on patient adherence to treatment plans.

Often, new pharmacists can complete some of their educational training on site at a primary care clinic. This gives the pharmacists experience in working with clients, managing a variety of cases, and managing prescribed medications. Refilling and suggesting scripts, aiding with financials, modifying treatment plans, and helping patients to understand and control their chronic conditions are just some of the things that a pharmacist can learn while a team member at a primary care office.

Pharmacists can conduct vaccine clinics throughout the year to help patients prevent common illnesses. Implementing an influenza clinic or Gardasil vaccination for young adults are just a few examples of the sort of public service that a pharmacist could add at their primary care location. The landscape for pharmacists is changing as the requirements to obtain licensing become stricter. Pharmacists have to complete clinic hours, and often can opt to do so in the primary care setting. Clinics often serve under represented populations, so working at a mobile health clinic or an urban primary care facility is a great way for a hopeful pharmacist to gain valuable experience about serving at risk groupings.

Pharmacists can weigh the benefits of working in a traditional pharmacy over working directly with patients. Overall, the choices are varied. When it comes to patient care, working in the primary care setting offers a hands-on experience that some larger traditional pharmacies may not be able to deliver. How have you navigated the changing times for pharmacists in the primary care setting? Share your story in the comments below.

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