Category: Professional Posters
Around the world, hospital pharmacists provide a wide range of patient-centered services. In an international survey of hospital pharmacy practice, pharmacists’ noted that their daily workload consists of both clinical activities (e.g., medication prescribing, influence on prescribing, and medication-related outcome monitoring) and operational activities (e.g., medication procurement, and dispensing). Operational activities are more consistently provided by hospital pharmacists worldwide; whereas clinical activities are more prominent in developed countries. Despite limited availability, clinical pharmacy services are integral in optimizing patient care and advancing evidence-informed practice. In Canada, patient education during hospitalization and at discharge is Clinical Pharmacy “Key Performance Indicators”. Patient education can be provided by pharmacists through various means; one example is Medication Education Groups. Studies show that pharmacist-led Medication Education Groups can improve cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with diabetes and medication adherence in older adults. Medication Education Groups are also beneficial in psychiatry and have been shown to reduce hospital readmission rates. It has been demonstrated that patients with mental illness have lower health literacy as compared to the general population. Furthermore, they report having inadequate knowledge about medications and dissatisfaction with the information they receive about their medications. While the benefits of pharmacist-led inpatient psychiatric Medication Education Groups have been described in the literature, anecdotally, they may not always achieve their intended outcome. For example, there are frequently concerns with low attendance and engagement. Furthermore, patients can be disruptive, argumentative, exaggerate side effects, and/or attempt to derail the group entirely. With this experience, a need was identified to create an innovative way to deliver medication education that improves health literacy and empowers patients to take ownership of their own physical and mental health. One such model that was developed and trialed at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health involved taking medication education outside of the hospital, and into the community. Led by a Clinical Pharmacist, inpatients with off-ward privileges are invited to participate in weekly visits to a nearby community pharmacy. These “Community Pharmacy Walks” aim to arm patients with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to make informed choices related to Over-the-Counter products upon discharge. For example, the Clinical Pharmacist compares and contrasts the plethora of laxatives available in the pharmacy. They would then highlight that, for example, bulk-forming laxatives are dangerous in the management of clozapine-induced constipation, and that osmotic laxatives would be preferred. Patients have had extremely positive responses to the group, and are keen on participating regularly. “Community Pharmacy Walks” began as a way to engage patients to discuss medications, and have now transitioned as a way for patients to proactively integrate with the community. Future directions of this novel medication education group format involve consistent measuring of medication knowledge, and attitudes pre- and post-group participation.