Pharmaceutical Care

Pharmaceutical Care is a patient-centered, outcomes-oriented pharmacy practice that requires the pharmacist to work in concert with the patient and the patient’s other healthcare providers to promote health, prevent disease, and assess, monitor, initiate, and modify medication use to ensure that drug therapy regimens are safe and effective.

The goal of Pharmaceutical Care:

The goal of Pharmaceutical Care is to optimize the patient’s health-related quality of life and achieve positive clinical outcomes.

A structured approach to achieve these goals:

  1. It requires an established patient-to-pharmacist relationship.
  2. It requires records of medication to be kept and, with the patient’s informed consent, additional patient-specific information to be collected, organized, recorded, monitored, and maintained.
  3. It requires patient-specific medical information to be evaluated and, in the case of prescribed medicines, a therapy plan to be developed involving the patient and the prescriber.
  4. It requires the pharmacist to ensure that the patient has all supplies, information, and knowledge, necessary to carry out the drug therapy plan.
  5. It requires the pharmacist to review, monitor, and modify the therapeutic plan in concert with the patient and healthcare team.

Elements to provide quality pharmaceutical care are:

  1. Knowledge and skills of personnel,
  2. Systems for data collection, documentation, and transfer of information,
  3. Efficient workflow processes,
  4. References, resources, and equipment,
  5. Communication skills,
  6. Commitment to quality improvement and assessment procedures.

Knowledge and skills of personnel

The implementation of pharmaceutical care is supported by knowledge and skills in the areas of patient assessment, clinical information, communication, adult teaching and learning principles, and psychosocial aspects of care.

To use these skills, responsibilities must be reassessed, and assigned to appropriate personnel, including pharmacists, technicians, automation, and technology. A mechanism of certifying and credentialing will support the implementation of pharmaceutical care.

Systems for data collection and documentation

The implementation of pharmaceutical care is supported by data collection and documentation systems that accommodate patient care communications (e.g. patient contact notes, medical and medication history), inter-professional communications (e.g physician communication, pharmacist-to-pharmacist communication), quality assurance (e.g. patient outcomes assessment, patient care protocols), and research (e.g. data for pharmacoepidemiology, etc.). Documentation systems are vital for reimbursement considerations.

Efficient workflow processes

The implementation of pharmaceutical care is supported by incorporating patient care into the activities of the pharmacist and other personnel.

References, resources, and equipment

The implementation of pharmaceutical care is supported by tools, which facilitate patient care, including equipment to assess medication therapy adherence and effectiveness, clinical resource materials, and patient education materials.

Tools may include computer software support, drug utilization evaluation (DUE) programs, disease management protocols, etc.

Communication Skills

The implementation of pharmaceutical care is supported by patient-centered communication. Within this communication, the patient plays a key role in the overall management of the therapy plan.

Quality Assessment/ Improvement Programs

The implementation and practice of pharmaceutical care are supported and improved by measuring, assessing, and improving pharmaceutical care activities utilizing the conceptual framework of continuous quality improvement.

Practice Principles Pharmaceutical Care

Pharmaceutical care involves the process through which a pharmacist cooperates with a patient and other professionals in designing, implementing, and monitoring a therapeutic plan that will produce specific therapeutic outcomes for the patient.

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