II. What have I gained from this experience?
Now, I understand a few MedsCheck programs. I volunteered one day a week for 8 weeks, and my workload varied from 1-5 Diabetes MedsChecks/day. Overall, I provided nearly 25 Diabetes MedsChecks. I used a standardized template with every patient to document this service. I worked within the time-constraints, with a few exceptions. I realize that patient care is not achieved in one visit, but numerous follow-ups, and maintaining the patient-pharmacist relationship is integral to improving patient health outcomes.
The MedsCheck program is not perfect. I experienced a number of challenges with documentation, time management, communicating with other healthcare professionals, arranging follow-ups, and dealing with absences.However, these challenges can be overcome. I am hopeful that the second stage of cognitive services will reduce some of the challenges associated with the MedsCheck program.
When I reflect on my experience in the MedsCheck elective, I can easily recall the many lessons I’ve learned. The reason is that we reflected on a weekly basis during the groups discussion and this blog. After graduation, I will strive to establish a similar routine with my colleagues – pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and the online community. I am certain that if I can accomplish this, then the MedsCheck service in my pharmacy will undoubtedly prosper.
Group discussions and blogging provided us with constant motivation to improve each of our MedsCheck service, and opportunities to learn together and overcome challenges together. I’m glad I didn’t do this alone. (I hope you consider organizing 1 hour weekly group discussions within your pharmacy).
III. In year 2012+
When I am practicing as a pharmacist, I will be available full-time as opposed to my part-time experience as a pharmacy student volunteering once weekly. As a result, I expect the professional relationship with my future patients to develop more effectively. Will I be working in a “lean” patient-centered pharmacy? No, not in the immediate future. Consequently, I will be faced with a different set of challenges. Every pharmacy will provide MedsCheck differently. Through discussions with my classmates, it was apparent that countless variables will impact the MedsCheck service: your approach, the patient’s condition, the values of the pharmacy, the type of community pharmacy (independent/ banner/ chain), and the location- its proximity to other health care professionals. These differences are good, and it should be expected since the product we are providing is a patient-centered service and not a manufactured product.
Mike (Twitter name: @M_TRITTer)