Clinical pharmacists interact, coordinate, and work directly with physicians, other health professionals, and patients to ensure that the medications prescribed for patients contribute to the best possible health outcomes. Clinical pharmacists practice in many different health care environments: hospitals and their affiliated outpatient clinics, emergency departments, community pharmacies, physicians’ offices, community-based clinics, nursing homes, and managed care organizations.
- Assess the status of the patient’s health problems and determine whether the prescribed medications are optimally meeting the patient’s needs and goals of care.
- Evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of the patient’s medications.
- Recognize untreated health problems that could be improved or resolved with appropriate medication therapy.
- Follow the patient’s progress to determine the effects of the patient’s medications on his or her health.
- Consult with the patient’s physicians and other health care providers in selecting the medication therapy that best meets the patient’s needs and contributes effectively to the overall therapy goals.
- Advise the patient on how to best take his or her medications.
- Support the health care team’s efforts to educate the patient on other important steps to improve or maintain health, such as exercise, diet, and preventive steps like immunization.
- Refer the patient to his or her physician or other health professionals to address specific health, wellness, or social services concerns as they arise.