I feel blessed that I get to do what I have always dreamed of. I meet patients where they are whether it is in a physician office, in their home, or workplace.
I was seeing a patient at the doc’s office for an INR check (checking the level of his blood thinner). He mentions back pain and that he has been through physical therapy and wants a pain management referral. Ugh. I am not a fan of adding more meds which seems to happen when specialists are consulted.
I notice in his chart that he had been prescribed a pain relieving gel at his last visit. I asked him if he had tried it and how it worked.
He stated “Oh, I saw that box in my bag of medications, but I didn’t know why it was in there.”
I instructed him how to use it and what it is for. He came back 1 week later (because his INR had not been in range and back pain follow up). States his back is 100% better since he started using the gel.
He had the tools all along. With just a bit more education a pain referral and potentially more medications were avoided. This is a perfect example of how a pharmacist can help. No one will ever know how he missed the education from the provider that they were prescribing a gel for his back pain or how he missed (or didn’t understand) the counseling at the pharmacy. We need to listen, educate, and revisit opportunities to educate as often as we can. We need to meet them at their level to avoid further costs to an overburdened and unsustainable health care system. For more information about having a pharmacist in your office, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org .