We live in an age where healthcare practices have gravitated towards becoming more collaborative among professionals from different disciplines. That allows better health outcomes and continuity of care for patients with chronic illnesses.
Experts categorize illnesses as “chronic” if the symptoms persist for more than three months, with diabetes, cancer, and heart disease being the leading cause of disability or mortality among Americans. Living with a chronic condition can be challenging, especially when you must undergo treatment or long term care to help you live the best life possible. Thus, it’s best to seek support from a diverse team of healthcare professionals.
Did you know? Pharmacists are among the professionals you should include in your disease management team. Let us explore how the professionals from your local drugstore can help you overcome the struggles of living with a chronic condition.
- Medication Education
Learning about your chronic illness is the ideal first step toward overcoming its symptoms. And while your doctors can give you a thorough briefing about the nature of your disease, pharmacists can educate you more about your prescribed medications.
Pharmacists can offer expert advice to inform you about the potential side effects and changes that may arise as you begin taking your medications. If you are anxious about your prescriptions, trustworthy pharmacists can help you understand the reasoning as to why your physician prescribed you such medications. These professionals will also review your medication history, ensuring none of your newly prescribed medicines will provoke a harmful drug-to-drug interaction, especially when you take OTC drugs.
Remember: part of a pharmacist’s responsibility is to educate and empower people about their medications. So don’t hesitate to have all your questions and concerns addressed when you visit your pharmacy.
- Medication Management (for better adherence)
Most people with chronic conditions will have to follow a personalized treatment plan, and these plans may involve multiple medications. In addition to helping you understand your medication regimen and its potential effects, pharmacists can suggest strategies to help you practice better compliance. At Cavalier Pharmacare, we offer services specially designed to boost medication adherence among those we serve.
One such service is our “Medicine on Time” packaging, wherein we packet each person’s medications into color-organized calendar cards with easy-to-read labels. Doing so offers significant benefits for those struggling with medication adherence because it simplifies what was once a complex way of taking multiple medications.
Our specialized packaging will also help your primary caregivers monitor whether or not you are taking your medications consistently and accurately.
Another service is our automatic refill Rx, which allows you to replenish your medicine supplies without visiting our pharmacy physically. The only thing you must do is complete the online form for a hassle-free way to request an automatic refill of prescriptions. Prescription refills may come with free delivery services for those with a delivery card.
Most chronic conditions target a person’s immune system, making them immunocompromised or (in simpler terms) susceptible to the threats of disease-spreading viruses. If a person with a chronic illness gets infected, their condition may aggravate the symptoms and complications that may arise from getting infected. Hence, healthcare experts will always encourage those with chronic diseases to ask their doctors which vaccines they can safely take.
Once you know about the vaccines you must take, pharmacists can administer immunization and provide helpful advice to manage potential side effects. Since your physicians may advise you to take multiple vaccines, pharmacists can also help develop a schedule wherein they can administer immunization at safe intervals.
- Care Coordination
Disease management is a long-term process that may involve the participation and collaboration of healthcare professionals across multiple disciplines. Pharmacists are integral in care coordination because they specialize in monitoring everything related to your medications.
Your doctors will contact your pharmacists whenever they implement significant changes in your medication. On the other hand, your pharmacists may report to your doctors about the unfavorable side effects or outcomes that occurred during your medication intake. Thus, pharmacists (in such cases) can advise doctors to develop an alternative treatment option.
Pharmacists also collaborate with nurses and caregivers to ensure better medication adherence and care continuity at home. Aside from educating patients, pharmacists are also responsible for teaching caregivers or private-duty nurses about medications and strategies to manage adverse drug reactions. Therefore, their proactive support makes monitoring your health progress easier for all the professionals involved in your disease management or treatment endeavor.
We now live in a time when pharmacies offer services beyond what is expected of them: solely focusing on pharmaceutical services. And this is most apparent in how pharmacists provide pivotal support in chronic illness management and care collaboration. As America’s healthcare landscape continues to evolve, pharmacies also ride with the trends while remaining a crucial resource, especially for those with chronic illnesses.
At our pharmacy, we equip our team with pharmacists who can readily collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure you experience continuous care. Are you curious to know how we can help with chronic illness management? Contact us today so we can arrange a thorough discussion.