Build a Relationship with Your Pharmacist: You May Become a Healthier Person

Do you think of your pharmacist as the busy person behind a window or counter? Someone who simply prepares and dispenses medications? We’ve long been more than just drug experts. But over the past 20 or 25 years, our role has continued to expand. Building a relationship with patients to enhance their health has become a vital part of our profession.1 

Getting to know you. You, too, are likely to benefit from working closely with a pharmacist who knows you well. That’s someone who knows your health concerns, recalls your medication history, and can help you stay on track. A pharmacist who knows you well will also be acquainted with your medical history. And all of this can only help when it comes to advising you about:

  • Potential drug, supplement, or food interactions
  • Possible allergies or side effects
  • What to avoid while taking a medication or if you miss a dose
  • When to call the doctor

Who benefits? These are examples of people who may benefit the most:

  • Those with chronic or complex conditions who are likely to take more than one medication. 
  • Older individuals, who often value a personal touch tailored to their unique needs.
  • Patients recently discharged from the hospital who may need extra help managing their prescriptions and care.
  • Parents who are busy and need speedy service and accessibility.2 

Let’s work together. Building a trusting, long-term relationship with a pharmacist is no less important than it is with your doctor. Shared knowledge may not only make you less anxious, but also really pay off in terms of health outcomes.  For one thing, you’re more likely to reap the benefits of your medicine while having fewer problems.3 

Why is that so? Research shows that if you trust your pharmacist, you’re more likely to take your medicines the right way and to stay watchful for side effects.4 Here are a few other reasons to value this relationship. You are more likely to:

  • Feel comfortable asking questions.
  • Request information about adverse effects and drug interactions.
  • Understand instructions.
  • Share information, which can help the pharmacist better guide you in decision-making.
  • Follow up if you have a problem.1,3 

A ready resource. With longer hours and no appointment needed, community pharmacists are more accessible than many health care professionals. That makes it easier to get answers when you need them. We’re also often involved in a wide range of other public health services. This includes health screenings, immunizations, pain control, research, and lifestyle management.5 

Why not take advantage of all we have to offer? I, for one, am ready and willing to be an ally in your quest for better health. Come talk to me, and let’s have a conversation.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

Sources

  1. AlGhurair S et al. Patient Pref Adherence.2012;6:663–676. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3461603/ Accessed 9-3-18.
  2. HealthMart: Get Customers to Switch to Your Pharmacy. Available at: https://join.healthmart.com/pharmacy-marketing-and-promotions/get-customers-switch-pharmacy/ Accessed 9-3-18.
  3. ShareCare: Why is building a relationship with a pharmacist so important? Available at: https://www.sharecare.com/health/health-care-basics/pharmacist-relationship Accessed 9-3-18.
  4. Albrecht, S. (2011, May 18). The Pharmacist’s Role in Medication Adherence. Available at: https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/the-pharmacists-role-in-medication-adherence Accessed 9-3-18.
  5. APHA: The Role of the Pharmacist in Public Health. Available at: https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/07/13/05/the-role-of-the-pharmacist-in-public-health Accessed 9-3-18.

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