Consultant pharmacists are medication management specialists working in a variety of settings such as ambulatory surgery centers, senior care facilities (e.g., nursing homes, assisted living facilities) and with individual patients. We provide expert advice on pharmaceutical services, patient safety, and drug therapy management.
Last month, we discussed how consultant pharmacists assist senior care facilities. With this post, we’ll focus on how individual patients — who are living independently — can benefit from using an expert consultant pharmacist.
Are you a patient on medication living independently (as in not within a nursing home)? Do you feel you’re taking too many medications? Do you feel that your medications may be interacting, or not having the intended effect? Do you wonder if your condition could be managed without medications? A consultant pharmacist can help.
Consultant pharmacists are specialists who provide expert advice on the use of medications. Their primary focus is to ensure patients are using their medications safely and effectively in an effort to optimize therapy and prevent or correct medication related problems. We promote healthy aging through the proper use of medications. We believe that instead of adding more medications, what our patients need and want is expert advice on how to take them and an informed advocate to make sure the medicines they receive are right for them. We are trained to assist patients with their special medication needs and can also influence prescriber decisions by providing expert recommendations as a result of personal interaction with our patients.
How Consultant Pharmacists Help
Our mission is to help you live longer, healthier and independently:
- We will teach you the right questions to ask your doctors.
- We will make sure your medication is at the right dosage.
- We will answer any questions you have about your prescriptions.
- We will teach you to properly store and take your medications so you get the most out of your therapies.
- We will empower you to take control of your health care by arming you with information.
During a transition of care, our consultant pharmacists will support you through the entire process. We will meet you or a loved one at home or your new location to provide consultation and help shepherd you through the process and ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. After you are settled, we will make sure we review everything with you and your loved ones and also answer any questions. Having one of our pharmacists take care of the medication regimen and worry allows you, and your family, to focus on you and your comfort throughout the transition.
What to Expect When You Work with a Consultant Pharmacist
When you reach out to us, we quickly assess your needs and schedule an appointment at a time and place that is convenient for you. We provide in-home, in person and video/telephone (telehealth) consultations to patients and caregivers. We make house calls. We will visit you at the location of your choosing. You tell us what is most convenient for you. A consultation is an opportunity for you to raise any questions, concerns or seek professional advice when it comes to your health, medication, or treatment in a private and comfortable setting. These confidential consultations are an excellent way to voice your concerns and receive professional advice.
When we are done, you will feel good about having a streamlined medication regimen and confident in your ability to take control of managing your healthcare. Upon completion, we will take the time to document the details of our meeting and send you a professionally written summary of recommendations, which you may take with you to your personal physicians for review.
Tips from a Consultant Pharmacist: Questions to Ask
Ask questions, because when it comes to your health, there is no right or wrong question. Asking questions helps you understand what you are taking and why:
- What is the medication called?
- What is the medication supposed to do?
- What are the side effects of the medication?
- When do I start and stop taking the medication?
- How do I take the medicine? (e.g. With or without food?)
- Will the medication work safely with the other medications I am taking?
- Can non-drug actions help my symptoms, in addition to, or instead of, this drug therapy?
- Are there other medications I can use instead?
- How does this medicine compare to others in terms of safety, effectiveness and price?
As you probably already know, anyone can call themselves a consultant, but — not everyone is an expert in their field or the services they provide.
Before choosing a consultant pharmacist with whom to work, make sure you do your homework. Start with their website to evaluate their services and potential areas of expertise and specialization. (View Our Services) Then, follow up with a phone call to further assess their competency and your comfort level. The best consultant pharmacists are great communicators and provide comprehensive services.
Our website answers many of the common questions and our initial phone consultation is free, so we welcome your call. If you’d like a free consultation or more information about how we can help you, feel free to contact us.
The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.