In Ontario, most Family Health Team (FHT) pharmacists have had the unparalleled opportunity of designing their own roles, programs and services provided to patients, but we always have the same driving force: our mission to provide “Pharmaceutical Care” to clients.
We aim to ensure that patient’s medications are appropriate for them in terms of selection, dose, route, method of administration, and that they are comfortable taking them according to the prescribed instructions. We address potential side effects and provide counseling and reassurance where necessary. We advise prescribers, such as family physicians and nurse practitioners, when there are discrepancies between their instructions and what patients are actually doing. We use the information available in each patient’s personal medical record to support our patient interactions and reviews, and record our assessments. We provide suggestions to prescribers and patients in regards to drug and non-drug options for their concerns.
The City of Lakes FHT has had the opportunity of working with a primary care pharmacist for a number of years. Some of the services provided include:
- Medication reviews for complex patients, assistance with adherence to medication regimen, and identifying funding sources for patients who otherwise can’t afford their medications
- Drug information services (including prescription, over the counter and natural medicines, and supplements), clinical support for prescribing, and renal dosing of medications, etc.
- Involvement in developing and delivering FHT programs, including educational presentations to patients, smoking cessation counseling and assisting with medication reconciliation on discharge from hospital
- Acting as a liaison between community pharmacists and physicians
In addition, the clinical pharmacists at the City of Lakes FHT are well-equipped to follow-up on new medication starts, monitor drug therapy, provide assistance with chronic disease management and use clinical judgment and/or screening tools to identify patients who may benefit from the support of other Family Health Team staff or further investigation by their physician.
Pharmaceutical care has evolved with the new roles and responsibilities given to FHT pharmacists in their pursuit to help improve patients’ quality of life.