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Pharmacy Month Success Stories

The knowledge and expertise of Pharmacists at Altum Health play a crucial role in providing the right care, always. As part of Pharmacy Month 2021, we’re sharing some success stories from our very own pharmacists.

Knowledge is Power – Aileen Li

Aileen Li, Clinical Pharmacist at Altum Health

Medications can be confusing and daunting but they don’t have to be!

Pharmacists are a great source for medication information and education. We help our patients understand their medications, the benefits, potential side effects, and how to manage side effects. We also make recommendations to ensure our patients receive safe and effective treatment.

Recently, I met with a patient who did not want to take medication for his nervous system. We reviewed his medication regimen together and I explained the indication, dosing, and timeline for the benefit for each medication. By equipping him with this knowledge, the patient saw the value in taking some of his medications regularly.

Listening to the patient’s concerns helped me make suggestions to his family physician, which streamlined and optimized his current regimen. As a result, the patient was able to reduce his pill burden and achieve better compliance. Most importantly, the client now has a better understanding of his medications and a treatment plan tailored to his goals.

As a pharmacist at Altum Health, I am delighted to be a source of medication information and a part of a multidisciplinary team with a common goal of supporting our patients’ rehabilitation.

Communication is Key – Maple Gu

Maple Gu is a clinical Pharmacist at Altum Health

Pharmacists are often regarded as one of the most accessible health care professionals available to patients.

We play an active role in ensuring the therapeutic appropriateness of medications and can provide ongoing monitoring of their safety and efficacy.  We conduct thorough medication reviews, address drug-related problems, and provide education and recommendations to optimize patient outcomes.

A patient I met with reported taking an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on an ongoing basis to manage his pain and noticed symptoms of rectal bleeding. Through discussion, it appeared that he was not aware that this was an abnormal finding, nor that oral NSAIDs could contribute to an increased risk for bleeding.

By having this medication review, I was able to prompt him to seek medical follow-up to elucidate and manage the source of the bleed, as well as provide him with alternative medication suggestions to address his pain.

Shortly after, I followed up with the patient and liaised with his family physician. His physician was in agreeance with the medication changes made and stated that the client would be undergoing bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound, and colonoscopy for further investigation.

This was communicated to members of the multidisciplinary team to ensure that we were able to continue to work with the client safely and effectively.

As a pharmacist at Altum Health, I am glad that my efforts have an impact in helping our patients optimize their pharmacotherapy, and work towards achieving their treatment goals.

Intervention is Improvement -Paul Thompson

pharmacist paul explains medication to client
Pharmacist Paul Thompson explains medication to a client.

From Seinfeld to Superstore, pharmacists are often portrayed in popular culture as sticky types who take pills from the big bottle and place them in the little bottle.

While we can all appreciate the humorous portrayal, in reality, pharmacists play an integral role in promoting safe and effective medication use, particularly in an interdisciplinary setting.

From implementing a medication for headache prophylaxis for a neurology client to the mental health outpatient client whose medications I helped streamline in conjunction with their community psychiatrist, to the client who was simply apprehensive about starting a new medication and wanted to speak with someone to address their concerns…

While these may seem like simple cases, the interventions resulted in an improvement in medication compliance, tolerability, and efficacy. In turn, this had a significant downstream impact on function, participation in treatment, and return to work efforts.

As a pharmacist and a clinician at Altum Health, I’m appreciative that I’m in a position to support our clients’ rehabilitation through my role in an interdisciplinary team.

To all of my fellow pharmacists: Happy Pharmacy Appreciation Month!

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