Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of Pharmacists' Participation in a Pharmacotherapy Follow-Up Program

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of Pharmacists' Participation in a Pharmacotherapy Follow-Up Program

Article excerpt


Pharmacotherapy follow-up is a service that was developed by community pharmacies (1-3) in response to a need for ongoing treatment of medication-based health problems. Lack of medication effectiveness and/or safety results in a high rate of avoidable emergency department visits. (4) The implementation of this service requires a radical change in practice, including a shift from a medicine-centered approach to a new approach focused on the effects of medication on the patient. (5)

Continuing pharmacy education is necessary for community pharmacists to develop new skills such as pharmacotherapy follow-up. (3,5,6) A lack of adequate training is considered one of the obstacles to implementing pharmacotherapy follow-up. (7) However, the credit-based CPE model that is most frequently implemented in Spain seems to be insufficient to radically change the behavior of pharmacists. This study proposes a shift to a more complex CPE model based on individualized and qualitative criteria specific to the learning needs of the pharmacist. (8)

There is considerable discussion within the field of CPE about barriers and facilitators to lifelong learning, (9,10) the results obtained from face-to-face instruction and distance education, (11-13) and the acceptability and effectiveness of instruction depending on the model employed. (14-17) Hence, the use of new technologies has been advocated to provide a comprehensive and quality distance education program to a large number of individuals. (11,18,19)

This study analyzed the association between pharmacist attendance at CPE meetings and their participation in the Dader Program of Pharmacotherapy Follow-Up, which involves the submission of interventions for real patient cases. The Dader Program of Pharmacotherapy Follow-Up is the only national program dedicated to monitoring pharmacists' clinical activity through a pharmacotherapy follow-up service. This service facilitates pharmaceutical interventions by pharmacists, communication, and actions aimed at changing aspects of the patient's treatment or use of medication in an attempt to resolve drug-related problems and negative medication outcomes.

In pharmacy, the pharmacist is responsible for addressing the patient's medication needs. This type of practice is conducted through the detection of drug-related problems for the prevention of negative medication outcomes. This service requires a commitment that should be provided on a continual basis and in a systematic and well-documented way. Pharmacotherapy should be carried out in collaboration with the patient and other professional health care staff members with the aim of achieving results that improve the patient's quality of life and understanding of drug-related problems in which the use or misuse of medicines causes or appears to cause a negative outcome. Negative medication outcomes are not consistent with the objectives of pharmacotherapy and are associated with errors in the use of medicines.

The CPE pharmacotherapy course, which was sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry and designed for community pharmacists, provided theoretical training applied to real patient cases and were conducted by means of synchronous satellite videoconferences held in 56 classrooms throughout Spain. Four sessions were held for the 2001 and 2002 courses, 3 sessions for the 2003 course, and 2 sessions for the 2004 course. The content of each course was accredited by the National Committee for the Continuous Training of Health Professionals, with credits awarded based on the number of tests passed. Pharmacists obtain 1 of 2 types of accreditation depending on whether they completed only the examination or the examination and a complementary test based on a clinical case study.

The objective of providing the pharmaceutical care courses was to encourage the use of the Dader pharmacotherapy follow-up service. The hypothesis was that if pharmacists completed the pharmacotherapy CPE course they would be more inclined to participate in the Dader program. …

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