By Michael Rule, Manager of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy
Last January, NCPA launched a feature on our website entitled the Community Pharmacist Spotlight. Since its inception, a different NCPA member has been featured discussing the important role independent community pharmacists play in the health care system.
We profiled a few of these stories last May. Of course, since then independent community pharmacists have continued to contribute to positive patient outcomes and patients’ quality of life. So here are some more recent pharmacist stories that have been part of the online feature.
As trusted healthcare professionals, independent pharmacists routinely assist patients with chronic disease, such as diabetes, to maintain their health. For example, we received two stories of Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. Steve Giroux, RPh owner of Middleport Family Health Center in Middleport, NY, spoke of his program in broad terms noting that the program provides patients with the education they need and that through the counseling sessions, many patients have achieved their self-care behavior goals. Similarly, Jesus and Elvia Saenz, owners of Saenz Medical Pharmacy in Penitas, TX highlighted a specific success, “Our first patient to complete the Diabetes Self-Management Education program reduced her glucose and cholesterol reading; eliminated 2 of 12 prescriptions and her A1C dropped a whole point.”
Additionally, independent pharmacists often act as a second pair of eyes to a patient, ensuring their prescription is correct and does not cause any adverse reactions to their current medication regimen. In one case, pharmacist Rod Clay of Paradise Pines Pharmacy in Magalia, CA provided a great example: he identified the cause of a patient’s pain that doctors had missed. A patient who had been to two doctors for a localized rash and site pain came to his pharmacy. Upon examination with a magnifying glass, Mr. Clay removed a stinger from the patient’s hand. The patient later called to express their gratitude that the pain had subsided almost immediately.
Finally, this last example demonstrates independent community pharmacists’ willingness and ability to coordinate care with a patient’s other healthcare providers to improve health outcomes. Dennis Song, RPh of Flower Mound Herbal Pharmacy in Flower Mound, TX, discussed how he was part of a team of healthcare professionals providing care to a patient. He mentioned he worked with oncologists, research scientists, primary care physicians and alternative practitioners to help a patient with an integrative treatment plan to treat brain cancer.
These are just some of the positive stories that have been shared with us, and NCPA is proud to highlight these examples on our website. Stories such as these demonstrate the importance of face-to-face interaction between a patient and their pharmacist. Whether it is providing education on a chronic disease, working with other healthcare professionals to the betterment of the patient, or serving as a second set of eyes, these are services critical to positive patient outcomes.
NCPA will continue to spotlight member pharmacists and their patient success stories to demonstrate the vital role independent pharmacists play as healthcare providers in their communities. Please complete the online questionnaire if you are interested in being featured in a future spotlight.