By: Ph. Yasmeen Rafique
University of British Colombia
Faculty of pharmaceutical sciences (Vancouver, Canada)
The pharmacists clinic is where expert pharmacists work with patients and other health care professionals to optimize patient drug therapy outcomes. The clinic offers an effective way to care for patients with:
- multiple drug therapies (polypharmacy)
- sub-optimal drug therapy outcomes
- adverse drug events, drug sensitivities/allergies
- a need to start or stop a drug therapy
- patient adherence or compliance issues
- questions about medications or other products
- complex health conditions (e.g., diabetes, uncontrolled pain)
- reduced liver or kidney function
- advanced age (frailty)
- recent discharge from hospital
The Pharmacists Clinic at UBC is the first of its kind in Canada. It offers a unique health care environment that integrates patient care with academic and research programs, working hand in hand with physicians and other members of the health care team to provide the most appropriate, effective and personalized drug therapy for patients. With the primary focus being the patient, it is important that the patient actively participates in the decision-making process regarding his/her treatment.
Patients need to make appointments prior to their visit. Appointments are available in person or by telephone. The first appointment is usually 60 minutes. Follow-up appointments are 30–60 minutes, depending on the patient’s needs. During the consultation, the patient is asked to provide a list of all prescription medications, non-prescription medications and natural health products that he/she is currently taking, all of which will be recorded to be analyzed to optimize the patient’s therapy. Physicians with a busy schedule can also refer patients to the pharmacists clinic to help them optimize their patients’ therapy. The physician will receive a detailed report of all the drug therapy recommendations as well as the follow-up plans for patients with referral. Patient referrals to the pharmacists clinic are processed within two business days. The services are provided at no cost to the physician or the patient. Services are funded in part by the ministry of health and in part by the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences.
Apart from optimizing drug therapy, the pharmacists at the clinic are also trained to vaccinate patients as well as monitor blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Click to view video below: