Reflection #1: Tina Menedjian, PharmD Candidate 2019
On September 2, 2015, Dr. Sam Shimomura spoke to our elective class about Pharmacy Apps. Dr. Sam started off by surveying the class about which apps they regularly use and for what purpose they use them. He then touched base on the importance of evaluating an app for accuracy, ease of use, cost, reviews, and aim to avoid bias. After discussing the apps we use in our school/every day setting including podcasts, useful cloud storage, Evernote, time management/calendars, he went onto explain how vital it is for health care professionals to be informed about apps and websites. These apps include telehealth, prescribing apps, Electronic Health Record (EHR) and also those we should always stay updated with including iMedicalapps and Mobilhealthnews. Similar to what we learned in our intro to Evidence Based Practice class, Dr. Sam went over the most common apps student pharmacists and pharmacists should refer to in their day-to-day lives. These include Micromedex, Web MD, Dynamed, Up-to-Date, Lexi-Comp, and many more. The lecture was a resourceful tool in preparation to becoming a pharmacist.
KEEPER: Dr. Sam’s seminar was highly informative and reiterated just how vital it is to use resources and be resourceful. Technology has boomed over the last few decades and now, more than ever, is a time to take advantage of it. The medical field begs for health professionals that incorporate their clinical practice, along with utilize pharmacy apps and databases, to provide excellent health care. Working in a pharmacy, I have been able to appreciate the importance of technology. There have been scenarios that a patient has walked in confused about a medication, symptoms associated, or even for simple advice about OTCs and our pharmacist has not known the answer to their question. Of course, pharmacists are only human and might not be able to remember every little detail of every drug on the market. Through the advancement in technology, our pharmacist could quickly check her apps or pharmacy databases online and could then confidently and proficiently explain to the patient what he needed to know. Using apps and databases are not difficult feats but they are ginormous strides to improving patient care and education and wonderful aids for health professionals. For this reason, I have already downloaded a few of the apps and am excited to use them as a pharmacy student. I am especially excited about utilizing my knowledge through apps and continuing to learn once I am a pharmacist.
Reflection #2: Richard Flor, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Shimomura had given a presentation, on 9/2/15, about one of the most frequent instances a pharmacy student would encounter with practically anyone, drug information. The keeper idea, for me, was that oftentimes, a rational approach for seeking and answering drug information is best when practiced consistently. Ever since I had told my family that I’d be attending pharmacy school, I’ve been asked ,by them, numerous questions about their medications. One time, my cousin, who was pregnant at the time, asked me if it was safe to take Claritin for her allergies since she was expecting a child. Of course, I hadn’t even stepped foot on the concrete pavement of WesternU but I did have an app on my iPhone, called Pocket Pharmacist, at my disposal. By using the app to search and look up information on Claritin, including its pregnancy category B designation, I was able to tell my cousin that it may be acceptable to use during pregnancy. Essentially, the presentation had reminded me that I’ll be faced with similar questions over the course of my career and that it’s important to use the best approach to answering them.
Relection #3: Megan Musashi, PharmD Candidate 2019
Today, almost any cell phone or tablet is capable of downloading apps in various categories such as news, social media, gaming, books, and photos. There are also apps that are very useful for pharmacists that include news, drug information, and so much more. Some examples of apps used by pharmacists include Epocrates, Pharmacist’s Letter, Micromedex and Lexi-Comp. My father is a pharmacist and uses Epocrates and Medscape on a daily bases. Epocrates is a great app that allows you to review drug prescribing and safety information for a variety of drugs, check drug-drug interactions, perform dose calculations, and identify pills based on imprint code and physical characteristics. The app Pharmacist’s Letter provides information about new developments in drug therapy. It also gives the user access to detailed documents, patient handouts, treatment guidelines, as well as drug and dosage comparison charts. In my experience in the retail setting many patients are anxious and impatient when it comes to answers to their questions. They want to get in and out as soon as possible with a reliable answer from the pharmacist. Apps are very useful for pharmacists that are crushed for time and need to answer a question quickly for other healthcare professionals and patients. I have downloaded various apps on my phone and will be able to use them to help further my knowledge as well as look up any information that I do not know for the patients that I take care of.