Growing role of Pharamcy in patient care

Originally posted 5-27-2011:
It turns out Pharmacists are having a greater influence on patient care.  According to the results of a recent ASHP survey, "there is significant evidence that Pharmacists' unique expertise is sought after and valued by other health care providers." Some of the statistics show that physicians are accepting pharmacists' recommendations at a much higher rate compared to a decade ago.  They are also providing more prescribing advice through clinical consultations, and are more involved with high-risk drug therapies.  The most telling statistic is that "60 percent of pharamcy directors view [Pharmacy & Therapeutics] committees as being highly effective at increasing safety."

This is great news. The drug experts are being asked to be the drug experts more than ever in the clinical environment. It tells me more teamwork is occurring to treat a patient effectively and safely.  With the increasing complexities of healthcare creating more specialties, it is nearly impossible to ask one care giver to have all of the answers needed to treat a patient. Let the experts and specialists cover their areas and work as a team to cover the broad spectrum of a patient's care.

This is the sort of culture change that is necessary to improve the quality and safety of healthcare. Culture is the hardest piece of the healthcare system to change, but it is encouraging to see that some things are trending in the right direction.