Patient Profiles Prevent Adverse Events, Build Bottom Lines
By Sandra C. Canally, RN — Founder and CEO
A common accreditation deficiency we find as our advisors conduct their on-site evaluations at pharmacies throughout the USA is that patient files are often missing up-to-date medication histories.
Ideally, to help inform and keep their patients safe, all pharmacies, especially Exemplary Provider® accredited ones, should have a medication history for every patient. That’s why one of our Pharmacy Services Quality Standards requires it - DRG 6.0: “A medication record is maintained for all patients.”
Getting a patient’s accounting of the meds they are taking is universally seen as critical to preventing adverse drug interactions.
A simple proactive way any pharmacy operation can meet this important requirement is that, for all new patients, the pharmacist or pharmacy technician document all the medications they are currently taking, including any over-the-counter (OTC) meds or sample medications given by clinical practices. MOST IMPORTANT is that the information be complete and accurate.
As detailed in DRG 6.0’s Evidence of Compliance, drug profiles are maintained for all clients and include the following information:
- Name, gender, birth date and weight (when appropriate)
- Address and client identification
- Insurance information
- Allergies or sensitivities
- Diagnosis, when appropriate
- Current drug regimen including OTC drugs taken and supplements
- Relevant clinical information regarding drug therapy
- Physician’s name
- Contact information for refills, reminders etc.
It is extremely important to stress to your new patient that this information is vital in preventing any adverse reactions due to contraindications with other medications they are taking. This information then needs to be included in the patient’s permanent record.
DRG 6.0 also requires that the organization maintain dispensing records based on State Board of Pharmacy regulations. These include:
- Client’s identification, name and address
- Name of medication
- Strength and dosage form
- Quantity dispensed
- Physician's name
- Dispensing pharmacist/technician identification
- Prescription number
- Date dispensed
- Directions for use
- Expiration date
- Number of refills authorized
By keeping accurate records, your pharmacy becomes the go-to location for a patient’s medication history. Think about it, a patient typically has multiple doctors and specialists treating them, and may forget to tell each doctor what medications he/she has taken over the months and years.
By asking a new patient for a list of all their meds including OTC drugs, your pharmacy can become the key connection in their healthcare provider relationships. With their complete medication histories on file, patients can use your pharmacy as a resource to verify meds that they are taking, which may make them more likely to practice good drug adherence.
As the keeper of their medication history, you are also more likely to become a patient’s single-source pharmacy provider. The convenience of getting all their scripts filled at the same time and at the same location may encourage your patients to utilize your MTM (Medication Therapy Management) counseling expertise; a billable service and profit enhancer.
This benefits you, the pharmacist, in four ways:
- You are recognized as a community leader and patient champion; the go-to person when the patient needs to check what medications he/she is taking. Obviously, the more accurate your records, the more effective you can be in addressing the patient’s needs.
- Because you now have on file all the patient scripts for all their medications, you play a much greater role in the care of your patients and are a prominent contributor to their Care Team and outcome.
- Through your commitment to treating the patient as a whole person, you act as a vital resource to the prescribers who, in turn, should generate more referrals.
- Lastly, from a purely financial perspective, more prescriptions equal more revenue and potential profit.
The Compliance Team offers multiple pharmacy accreditations: Community Pharmacy including Medicare Approved DMEPOS, Sterile Compounding, Non-sterile Compounding, Long-Term Care, Specialty Drugs, Infusion, Travel/Retail Clinic.
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