Pharmacists: Key Players in Patient Education

As a pharmacist, do you strive to find new and more impactful ways to educate patients on drug use?

Pharmacists play a vital role in patient education. Often the last health professionals to interact with patients before they begin a medication regimen, pharmacists are in the unique position to address any lingering patient concerns, misconceptions or uncertainties.

According to a 2014 Rexall report, 40% of patients fail to take their medications as prescribed.[1] Many studies put this number much higher.

Out of 100 prescriptions written, only 65 will make it to a pharmacy. And of these 65 prescriptions, only 15 will be refilled as prescribed.

Patient non-adherence to medication has consequences not just for the patients themselves, but also on the healthcare system as a whole. Annually, medication non-adherence contributes to 5% of all hospital visits and 5% of physician visits, costing the healthcare system $4 billion in expenditures.1

While many factors affect patient adherence and are often out of your control, it is important to recognize your value when it comes to boosting compliance through patient education. As such, you play a pivotal role in patient care.

Each patient is unique, and it’s important to approach each patient individually to determine their level of adherence and what barriers may exist that are preventing the patient from taking his or her medication appropriately.[2]

Some of these barriers can be razed through effective patient education. Barriers like perceptions of disease severity and drug effectiveness, asymptomatic disease, poor health literacy, lack of knowledge, and complex drug regimens. Talk to your patients if they show signs of lack of adherence due to these types of barriers, which you can help to lift by educating patients on the importance of proper drug administration.

Education alone, while helpful, is often not enough to persuade patients to comply with their physician’s drug orders if barriers to adherence are present. The key is to present information to patients in clear, easy-to-understand language. Patients must understand not only the benefits of adherence, but the repercussions of nonadherence.2

iMD Health strives to help make the patient education process easier for you. Designed to make time spent with patients as effective and efficient as possible, our web-based education platform provides a library of visual resources and tools you can use to help educate your patients in a more approachable way, using your tablet or smartphone.

Use our platform to explain the complexities of disease; there are hundreds of professionally vetted images, videos, diagrams and documents at your disposal to do so.

Research tells us that when a patient understands their medical condition they are more likely to adhere to their treatment plan. iMD Health enables you to provide patients with improved understanding not only of their medical conditions, but also of their prescribed medications and treatment plans, through the sharing of drug product monographs, branded patient information and support materials.

Plus, you can extend your reach outside the pharmacy by sending information directly to patients following their in-person consultation with you. With the click of a button you can send the information you discuss directly to your patient, along with actionable next steps such as medication treatment plans.

Think of yourself as a patient’s last line of defense against misconception and lack of knowledge when it comes to medication. You are the last health professional patients will have the opportunity to learn from before they begin taking medication or receiving treatment that they otherwise might know nothing about.

Let iMD Health help you educate your patients better. Click the link below to get started now!

 

 

[1] http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/rexall-improving-patient-health-outcomes-with-launch-of-onestopmeds-566399451.html

[2] https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/the-pharmacists-role-in-medication-adherence

 

 

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