Pharmacy - Interview Analyses and Synthesis Research Proposal

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Pharmacy - Interview

INTERVIEW ANALYSES and SYNTHESIS

This project is a synthesis and analysis of the product of three interviews conducted with two practicing pharmacists and a retired pharmacist who work as a an industry advocate and contributes his time to patient advocacy groups as well. The range of professional experiences includes nearly five decades, with one of the subjects having entered the profession in 1960; he continues to practice at the age of 72. The other practicing pharmacist is relatively new to the profession, having just started his career a few years ago.

Several themes emerged throughout the series of interviews, including the dual role of the practicing pharmacist as a dispenser of drugs and an educator of patients; the role of technology in modern pharmacy; and the changes resulting from the evolution of the profession in the age of 21st century medicine, pharmacology, and technology. The purpose of this project is to acquire greater insight into the profession from information provided by knowledgeable individuals with different perspectives.

The Role of Pharmacists:

Pharmacists work in several different types of professional environments; predictably, their individual perspectives are substantially attributable to their specific responsibilities and to the realities of the vocational settings in which they work. The hospital pharmacist views his most essential roles primarily as defined by the need to dispense medications accurately and by the need to ensure that physician errors are identified and corrected before they result in dispensation errors.

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The sheer volume of work faced by hospital physicians and the weakened condition of hospital patients (as compared to outpatients) raises the potential for the "perfect storm" of devastating medical harm that could result from pharmacy errors, regardless of whether the source of error was the prescribing physician or the pharmacist.

Research Proposal on Pharmacy - Interview Interview Analyses and Synthesis Assignment

The hospital pharmacist must implement proactive measures to safeguard patients from errors, such as by maintaining lists of ambiguous terms and abbreviations known to be associated with potential misinterpretation or mistake. In order to be effective, those measures must be communicated to physicians; ultimately, optimal patient protection in this regard would require a standardized approach within the entire industry.

The secondary major role of pharmacists is that of provider of patient education, although setting also determines many aspects of that responsibility. The hospital pharmacist, for example, may have less opportunity for direct patient interaction compared with the outpatient pharmacist who ordinarily encounters patients under less exigent circumstances in which the patients are functioning more independently and in a frame of mind that is more conducive to their education. Even in the outpatient setting, heavy workloads and the need to provide fast service may preclude more extensive interactions between pharmacists and patients. One suggestion is that increased reliance of pharmaceutical technicians within the dispensation process would enable outpatient pharmacists to devote more time to direct patient interaction for the purpose of educating them.

In the hospital setting, the face-to-face education of the patient is more likely to come from physicians, supplemented by the pharmacist's notes and warnings. For that reason, efficient communication channels between physicians and pharmacists are essential in the hospital environment. Likewise, the realities of the hospital setting often limit the nature of patient education to the specific pharmacological issues associated with acute treatments.

The outpatient setting provides much greater opportunity for the pharmacist to dispense general information beyond the scope of acute illness and its treatment. Again, that opportunity is necessarily limited by the time demands of the pharmacist's primary responsibility of filling orders and ensuring patient safety by identifying potential mistakes, confirming information, and noting contraindications and administration instructions. However, in principle, where the outpatient setting permits, the pharmacist may take a much more comprehensive role in patient education in several ways.

For example, many drugs such as Coumadin require… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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