Can We Talk? Communication to Enhance Patient Care
The Pharmacist's Role
Pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare providers. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists are utilized to help control infectious diseases and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. In order to fully serve the community, communication must be used in an efficient manner among patients and colleagues.
The tools used to enhance communication at ClearSpring pharmacy are Microsoft Teams, Acuity, and Prescribe wellness.
Microsoft Teams serves as an instant messenger that is utilized to communicate between the different ClearSpring pharmacies locations. This application is also used to host Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support classes that are facilitated by our pharmacists Dana Sadowski. During these Microsoft Teams meetings, the chat function is utilized to allow the participants to instant message during the class and allows the pharmacist to share electronic resources with the class.
Acuity serves as an effective and convenient way for patients and the pharmacy staff to book appointments such as COVID-19 testing/vaccines, oral contraceptive consultations, compression garment fitting, comprehensive medication review, etc. Acuity is a straightforward process where the pharmacy staff and/or the patient can book the specific appointment and the duration, price, and necessary forms are displayed. This allows the pharmacy staff to enhance workflow by preparing materials and screening before the patient arrives at the pharmacy, leading to a positive experience.
Prescribe Wellness offers multiple functions including vaccine submissions, MedSync, and communication tools between the pharmacy and providers. MedSync assists in aligning patient medications, which aid in reducing multiple trips to the pharmacy and increasing medication adherence. MedSync allows the pharmacy staff and the patient to synchronously work together and communicate specific needs. Furthermore, PrescribeWellness allows the pharmacy staff to electronically send completed e-care plan (a document that includes patient goals, drug therapy, problems, vitals, etc.) and comprehensive medication review documents to the provider to give the provider an up to date health history of their patient. Overall, using multiple communication tools and platforms play a role in pharmacy workflow which results in positive patient outcomes
Author credits to Karl Merz Jr, MPH, PharmD Candidate 2022