1. Introduce yourself with your name and title.
2. The pharmacist should identify the patient by using at least two patient identifiers (name, DOB, telephone number and/or address).
3. The pharmacists should inquire about any food or drug allergies.
4. The pharmacist should ask the patient to list his/her current medications and vaccinations (prescription, nonprescription, herbal, and/or dietary supplement).
5. The medication trade name, generic name, common synonym, or other descriptive names should be relayed to the patient.
6. The medications route, dosage form, dosage, and administration schedule.
7. The benefits and importance of the medication should be made apparent to the patient. This may include whether the medication is intended to cure a disease, eliminate or reduce symptoms, delay the course of a disease state or prevent a disease or a symptom.
8. The medications expected onset of action and what to do if the action does not occur.
9. Actions to be taken in case of a missed dose.
10. Potential common and severe adverse effects that may occur and actions to prevent or minimize their occurrence, including notifying the prescriber, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
11. Assess any potential drug-drug (including nonprescription), drug-food, and drug- disease interactions or contraindications.
12. Prescription refill authorizations.
13. Proper storage of the medication.
14. Proper disposal of contaminated or discontinued medications and used administration devices if any.
15. Verifying the patients understanding of all information by asking the patient to repeat key information using open-ended questions as suggested by the Indian Health Services. These questions are as follows:
a. What did the doctor tell you the medication was for? (What do you take this for?)
b. How did the doctor tell you to take the medication?
c. What did the doctor tell you to expect?
The contents mentioned are key components of a patient education and consultation. However, in order to achieve an effective consultation, the pharmacist should always go beyond the minimum requirements and understand their patients’ cultures, beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Furthermore, it is up to the pharmacist to be empathetic and use their professional judgment to include any other pertinent pharmacotherapeutic information.
Posted by Jonathan Tang, PharmD. Candidate 2015