Aimee O’Reilly, RPh, PharmD
Owner, O’Reilly Family Pharmacy
Med sync has been a major focus of our pharmacy’s Flip the Pharmacy efforts. We work with patients to line up their medication to all be filled on one date and often talk about how this is much more convenient for them and makes it more likely that they remember to take their medications as prescribed. A benefit we often forget to mention is that they get a monthly consult with a pharmacist included as part of the package - which brings me to this week’s #WednesdayWin.
We call each med sync patient a week in advance of their medication pick up date and review all of their medications with them. We ask about any changes to their medications, have they had a doctor’s appointment recently, is there anything else they may need. In the process we also review common metrics which help our pharmacists educate the patient on their disease state. For example, for a patient taking a blood pressure medication, we ask if they check their blood pressure regularly and what the latest reading was. We do this as part of the routine and while I know it’s valuable, I often forget just how much of an impact this can have.
I was on a routine call this week with a patient reviewing her medications when at the end of the call she asked if we could hold off on filling her Trelegy inhaler. Trelegy is a prescription medicine used long term to treat chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) and is taken on a daily basis. I was surprised by this request and followed up asking how she had been using it. She explained this was her as needed inhaler and she hasn’t needed it recently. I proceeded to counsel the patient on the correct way to use the inhaler and discussed which inhalers she had on hand to use for shortness of breath.
This intervention helped drive home the importance of med sync to both me and the patient. If her medications hadn’t been sync’d, I most likely wouldn’t have noticed that she wasn’t filling her inhaler routinely and she would have been at increased risk for hospitalization due to uncontrolled COPD. We were able to correct a simple misunderstanding of the directions and give the patient a better outcome - all as part of our standard operating procedure. I certainly call that a win!