Author details: Dr Nayana M
Pharm D Intern
Bapuji Pharmacy College, Davangere 577 004, Karnataka, India
Keywords: clinical pharmacist, public health, ADR (adverse drug reaction), pharmacovigilance, OTC (over the counter), TDM (therapeutic drug monitoring)
Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who guide individuals with their medications. They also help patients perceive their medications, including how to take them, potential reactions and responsive their queries. They also make sure that the medications prescribed for patients contribute to the most effective potential health outcomes. Pharmacy as a profession evolved through metamorphosis, wherever within the past it had been a lot of dispensing oriented currently it focuses on safe and effective use of medicines so as to achieve increased optimal patient outcomes. Studies have found that pharmacists with broader role and responsibilities have reduced overall expenses and enhanced the quality of healthcare outputs, especially chronic conditions, obtained by the healthcare system.
Pharmacists play a vital role as an ideal professional for public health at the frontline of health care. The knowledge, skills and experience of a pharmacist enable them to support public health care by promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing long-term illness and by educating patients to better manage with their medicines. Public health is a multifaceted field that involves epidemiology, biostatics and the management of various health services. Other feature of public health includes environmental health, community health, behavioral health, health economics, public health protocol, mental health, work-related safety, health issues related to gender, sexual and reproductive health. Public health practices that are performed in today’s current world require multifaceted groups of healthcare professionals and workers. These broad organizations include physicians, nurses, clinical and hospital pharmacists, biostatisticians, public health supervisors, veterinarians, maternal health experts. In today’s world the services of a pharmacist involve higher patient orientation, regulatory and public health functions. With various objectives of public health which can be aided through a ideal set of skills of pharmacists and their experience in pharmacotherapy, pharmacovigilance, prevention services, access to health care services, patient counseling and various other work performed by them
Active contribution of public health services involves -Identification and solution of community health problems by monitoring health status; diagnosing and findings to be made in case of any community-wide health threat; information, training and promotion of the community about various health problems are provided by pharmacists about many diseases; develop plans and guidelines to promote individual and social health initiatives; organize civic partnerships related to health; ensuring safety and protecting health by enforcement of regulatory guidelines; cascading individuals to crave personal health care and assuring health care services when not available; affirming major and suitable health care workforce for the community; assessment of population-based health services for effectiveness, safety, accessibility, and quality, adding on to the existing knowledge through research and bringing out innovative effective solutions for health issues. The wide health practice, knowledge, and expertise of a pharmacist makes them an suitable source for providing public health favors in most public-private environments, such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, retail shops and nursing homes.
In our community, they are a proper source for education on sedentary living which impacts on health outcomes. Pharmacists play an active role in screening various diseases for e.g., diabetes, hypertension, liver fibrosis, cancer etc immunization techniques, clinical investigations, patient counseling on smoking cessation, alcohol, drug abuse and prevention, health education, etc. They are readily available source of knowledge providing education on self-management of diseases (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, HIV, cardiovascular diseases), family planning and drug-drug interaction. Pharmacists are the best institution for teaching and training of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers on the different dimensions of adverse events of drugs, prescriptions and problems related to drug therapy. Pharmacists can provide knowledge by offering services within the government health schemes, and information about the drug through counseling, newsletters, seminars, teleconferencing, and short-term courses in nursing and medical colleges. Pharmacists also give assistance for rehabilitation by providing guidance on the use and choice of surgical devices and equipment to individuals and groups. The scholar is full of incidences in which the pharmacist is working/ assisting in high blood pressure and colorectal testing, control and contraception programs of sexually transmitted diseases, health awareness programs and OTC drug choice advising and assisting patients. Pharmacists have approved social and environmental programs in rural regions such as control of chronic illness, water pollution, chemotherapy agents, sanitation, and waste disposal. Another important part of interest is rural pharmacists which fills a gap in both pharmacy and public health. In view of the fact that rural health is often an area of higher importance towards geographical need, rural health imbalance cannot be overlooked.
The local pharmacist provides a necessary clinical source of knowledge in many rural regions with fewer capitalize available. This also applies in poor metropolitan places. In these public sub-sectors, pharmacists are especially precious assets since the pharmacist acts as a readily available information and screening resource for healthier life. By consulting local pharmacists, many community members may avoid overpriced visits to emergencies for that prevalence of acute illness or circumstances that may provide relief for provisional OTC drugs, especially those without insurance. Therefore, pharmacists can commit in solving and eliminating health differences. Pharmacists, like all health care professionals, should engage themselves in operations that can contribute to the elimination of health imbalances, through training in cultural skills, collecting information on drug use in specific communities and encouraging workforce diversity.Clinical pharmacy is a health science discipline in which clinical pharmacists provide patient care that enhances medication therapy and promotes health, and disease prevention. Clinical pharmacist aims to develop and promote the rational and appropriate use of medicines and pharmaceutical care, in the interest of the patient and the community. Pharmacists participate in the consultation of the clinical treatment plan and parenteral nutrition and played an active role in controlling the rationality of the medication plan and promoting the nutritional rehabilitation of patients.
Pharmacist role in different health-care setups:
The pharmacist is the key health care professional in helping individuals to achieve the best outcome from their medications. The role of pharmacist have expanded from compounding, dispensing of medicines to a lot of concerned into clinical aspect such as medication and therapy management, counseling, immunization programs, drug intervention and ADR reporting. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, administer the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyle. Pharmaceutical services in developing countries face some specific challenges in contrast to those faced by pharmacists within the developed world. In most developing countries, lack of acceptable and good-quality medicines are the most common problem encountered. Irrational use of medication and weak regulatory enforcement of drug sales also are serious issues in developing countries. Pharmacist play a advanced clinical pharmacy roles such as intervening in prescriptions and medication therapy, counseling and prescribing, therefore there is much need in increasing awareness relating to role of pharmacists in health-care setup.
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