The Missing Prescription

Mar 08, 2017

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

From Zen Art for Meditation

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

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