Magazine article Drug Topics

APhA Releases Immunization Advocacy Guidelines for R.Ph.S

Magazine article Drug Topics

APhA Releases Immunization Advocacy Guidelines for R.Ph.S

Article excerpt

In an effort to establish some performance goalposts for pharmacists, the American Pharmaceutical Association has issued guidelines for pharmacybased immunization programs.

As more and more pharmacists have become involved in immunization, the need to define for the public just what to expect from such programs has also grown. When it comes to immunization, consumers and payers need to be convinced to turn to their pharmacist, the most accessible member of the health-care team. The answer for APhA was performance benchmarks that emphasize the pharmacist's role as a preventive health-care service provider.

The APhA immunization advocacy guidelines are as follows:

Guideline 1-Prevention: As vaccine advocates to protect their patients' health, pharmacists should:

Adopt one of three levels of involvement: as an educator motivating people to be immunized; as a facilitator hosting clinics conducted by others; or as an immunizer where permitted by state law. Focus their immunization efforts on diseases that are the most significant sources of preventable mortality, such as influenza, pneumococcal, and hepatitis B infections.

Routinely determine whether patients have been immunized and refer them to an appropriate provider.

Identify high-risk patients and develop an appropriate immunization schedule.

Protect themselves and prevent infection of their patients by being immunized themselves.

Guideline 2-Partnership: As immunizers who partner with others in the community, pharmacists should:

Support the immunization advocacy goals and other educational programs of health departments in their city, county, and state.

Collaborate with community prescribers and health departments. …

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