Magazine article Drug Topics

PCORI Spotlights the Pharmacist-Patient Bond

Magazine article Drug Topics

PCORI Spotlights the Pharmacist-Patient Bond

Article excerpt

VIEWPOINT

Hie profession of pharmacy keeps evolving, continuing to make me proud to call myself a pharmacist. All our graduates are doctors of pharmacy now. They are seeking residency training, not just in the hospital, but also in the community. We are managing disease states, administering immunizations, earning patient confidence, and saving lives by changing outcomes. Yet we are still fighting for our place in healthcare. We should be shoulder to shoulder with the physician, nurse, dentist, patient, and the rest of the healthcare team providing the best team-based care.

The center of the system

Through the Affordable Care Act (AC A), Congress authorized the creation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). PCORI, as it was envisioned by its creators, "helps people make informed healthcare decisions, and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes, by producing and promoting high integrity, evidence-based information."

PCORI is working on reshaping our healthcare system by promoting the patient as the center of healthcare, so one of the aims of PCORI is to help define patient-centered outcomes. By defining these outcomes and delineating what should be answered, PCORI is allowing patients a voice in their healthcare decisions.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) is intended to help the patient and their caregivers make informed, evidence -based healthcare decisions. But even with all the evidence, patients will still rely on their trusted healthcare providers for help.

The biggest role

This is where the pharmacist plays the biggest role in healthcare - perhaps especially in the community. The November 2012 Gallup poll ranked pharmacists the second-most trusted professionals, between nurses and medical doctors. I pursued pharmacy as a profession partly so that I could see my patients every month, not once a year. Under this new system we have an opportunity to be true patient advocates.

Applying the vision of PCORI to our profession, we can be a catalyst for change. When I see patients with diabetes in our ambulatory care clinic, I don't just start them on insulin, even if the guidelines suggest it as the best course of action. I outline the different treatment modalities available, and I ask, "What do you want to do? …

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