A Resident's View of FtP
I was first introduced to Flip the Pharmacy (FtP) during my last APPE block at Boscobel Pharmacy. When I was selecting my APPE sites, I had not initially considered any community pharmacy sites. However, during my last block, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in all student pharmacists being reassigned to other sites. Thankfully, I was reassigned to Boscobel Pharmacy and was afforded the opportunity to see the true impact community pharmacies can have with patients, healthcare providers, and the community.
FtP encourages pharmacists to practice at the top of their licences, provide support, and network with other pharmacists. CPESN gathers individual voices into one large voice to advocate on patients’ and pharmacists’ behalf for the betterment of health and healthcare. I have seen first hand, as a 4th-year student and now as a resident pharmacist, the impact on health that has come about from FtP.
Since the short time that I have been with an FtP pharmacy, I have witnessed our patients being more adherent to their blood pressure medications and more aware of the negative impact that high blood pressure can have on their health. We have helped multiple low-income patients procure blood pressure monitors to better track their hypertension leading to patient empowerment in tracking, monitoring, and addressing their blood pressure needs. Our current initiative is focused on opioid use and pain control. We as pharmacists are crucial components in the opioid cycle and need to put our clinical hats on rather than just dispensing without evaluation. We are currently providing patients with naloxone education and prescriptions, through a statewide standing order. The aim is to better empower the patient with knowledge regarding the hazards of opioids, alternative treatments, and tapering; all within the medical home model of working with the patient and physician.
All the advancements and patient-centered care improvements that I have witnessed have been achieved even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I can only imagine what could be accomplished when community pharmacists are equitably reimbursed for their clinical knowledge and not just treated as dispensers.