National Pharmacy Week: The Role Pharmacists Play in Patient Health Care

By Carolina Boyd, Communications Associate

This week marks National Pharmacy Week, a time set aside to acknowledge the contributions pharmacists make in caring for patients. Pharmacists are a valuable resource in patient care. Beyond filling prescriptions, they help patients adhere to their medications, assist with questions and concerns, as well as provide immunizations.

Legacy pharmacists often work closely with providers to give patients guidance about their health. They provide blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, flu vaccines, and one-on-one medication therapy counseling.

For example, glucometers play an important role in helping patients with diabetes. The devices track blood glucose fluctuations, which helps to manage the condition. Pharmacists educate patients about glucometers while providing instructions on proper usage.

“All diabetic patients that come into a Legacy pharmacy are taught how to use a glucometer. However, when they get home they may have difficulties remembering all the instructions,” said Ruston Taylor, Legacy’s Senior Director of Pharmacy Clinical Services and Outreach. “We have created instructional videos in both English and Spanish to support patients with their questions, as well as empower them in their care.”

Legacy provides a team-based approach to care. That approach includes a pharmacist, who in addition to performing medication counseling, helps to coordinate care, provide education, and improves access to care between doctor visits. Hypertension—also known as high blood pressure—is another condition in which this enhanced care works. Legacy pharmacists help hypertension patients identify treatment needs and work with them to develop healthy behaviors, like regular blood pressure monitoring.

Counseling and engaging patients into HIV care is another aspect of the unique work Legacy pharmacists do every day. At our Montrose clinic, patients can get a referral to the pharmacy, where they can be tested, counseled and educated about PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) before leaving with a prescription for HIV prevention.

“Legacy pharmacists play a major role in improving the medical adherence and therapeutic outcomes of patients,” said Kevin Aloysius, Legacy Pharmacy PrEP Coordinator.  “Reducing the barriers to accessing PrEP can have a positive effect on patient adherence and ultimately their overall health.”

If you have questions about managing your medication regiment or are interested in getting a flu shot to protect yourself this flu season, please visit a Legacy Pharmacy or call (713) 665-8800 for more information.