Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Pharmacists expanding their clinical impact beyond the hospital and into the community is a grassroots way of advocating for positive pharmacy change. Engaging the community through medication discussions and educational opportunities helps promote public awareness to pharmacists' capabilities, and establishes a new level of expectations of a hospital pharmacist's role, responsibilities, and availability for a community member should they require hospital services. This new service line allows the hospital pharmacist to go into the community in order to advocate to the public the impact pharmacy has on providing quality patient care through their advanced training and improved patient availability.
Methods: In an effort to positively encourage the use of pharmacy education while in the hospital, pharmacy would go into the community to advocate for and set the expectation of pharmacy responsibilities with the patient population that would be most likely to utilize hospital services. With enhanced standards to maintain qualified preceptorship for residency purposes, community involvement through outreach and volunteerism, implementing a service line dedicated to local pharmacy advocacy through education would continually help preceptors development. Pharmacy residents continually expressed the desire to advocate for pharmacy services through knowledge sharing and community involvement. Getting to the patient before the patient becomes a patient, is a way that pharmacy could change how the public viewed and utilized pharmacy services.
Pharmacy services partnered with our hospital's senior outreach coordinator, underserved care coordinator, local assisted living directors of nursing, area fitness centers, local emergency medicine teams, and regional health fair representatives in an effort to schedule educational opportunities for the community, and as a way to have direct time with a hospital pharmacist. Care coordinators sent inquiries regarding topics and questions the community wanted to learn more about regarding medications, medical conditions, and other health care related concerns. Trends were communicated to the pharmacy team and a schedule was constructed and promoted through local flyers.
Results: After one event at each senior center and area fitness center, the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community created the desire to host a different medical education topic to be delivered quarterly and that community members would promote the value of the information received to their community. Eighteen senior center visits have been scheduled, eight health fairs, three area EMS discussions, and two visits have been made to assisted living centers. Pharmacy residents received the additional advocacy training and direct patient care connection that they were looking for. Pharmacy preceptors were able to not only assess residents during outreach events, but also were able to spend time directly interacting and advocating for services provided. Patients have not only had more time to learn more about medications and the evidence supporting their use, but also have had the chance to sit down individually with a pharmacist and discuss medication lists, receive medication adherence support, and have a new resource they can expect with each visit to the pharmacy or the hospital.
Conclusion: Pharmacists have seen the positive impact that advocacy has had on the community through community feedback, care coordinator promotion of pharmacy utilization for additional learning opportunities. Implementing this service line assists the community, helps expand pharmacy resident presentation and advocacy experience, and assists preceptors in maintaining qualifications to continue to meet preceptorship standards in a volunteer, community-oriented way. Establishing a pre-transition of care service line has emphasized the need for preventive pharmacy education services in the community. Pharmacy will continue to help positively change the public's expectations of pharmacy's impact in the hospital and community.