# 128 October 2010

“Even the general
Took off his armor to gaze
At our peonies.”

From Zen Art for Meditation

(continues below)

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Shawn Christopher Shea
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# 128 October 2010

The Missing Prescription

TISA Description of the Problem: When providing my workshops on the Medication Interest Model (MIM), I often have pharmacists as participants. This makes sense because my book Improving Medication Adherence: How to Talk with Patients About Their Medications has become increasingly popular as a textbook in clinical pharmacy programs. Pharmacists can play a powerful role in helping patients with both medication interest and follow-through with treatment (what has been traditionally called medication adherence). It is with pleasure that I am presenting, the first TISA clinical interviewing tip of the month directly from a pharmacist directed towards other pharmacists. It is from Jake Farris, RPh and is very wise indeed.

Tip: One of the places where pharmacists can help spot that a patient is about to stop using a medication (or perhaps not start one) is at the counter itself as the patient first hands us their prescriptions. At this moment, I often ask:

“You know, are there any other prescriptions that your doctor asked you to fill today?”

I am fascinated how many people answer, “yes”. At which point I inquire as to their hesitancies, and sometimes I can address any misinformation, they may have, right on the spot. By doing so their interest in taking their medication often returns, and I’ve already had a powerful impact. At other times, when the patient’s concerns are complicated and more deep-rooted, I always urge them to talk directly with his or her physician or nurse to discuss the pros and cons of the medication and why it has been prescribed.

TISA Follow-up: In this tip from Jake, we see an excellent interviewing tip, that is easy to do and can have a huge impact. I’ve nothing to add. This tip is simply a great one.

Tip provided by:

Jake Farris, RPH
Brookline Brothers Pharmacy

TISA is a site dedicated to advancing the science and art of preventing suicide and teaching clinical interviewing