There are a number of trained individuals, such as physicians, specialist doctors, nurses, and caretakers, to take care of patients and dispense suitable treatment. Add to this the growing number of individuals with a degree in pharmacy who are also equipped and trained to play a role in patient treatment and recovery.
What Is a PharmD?
A degree holder of “Doctor of Pharmacy” is referred to as a PharmD. The degree program is a professional program for a doctoral degree in pharmacy. It is usually a 6-year course, which at the end allows the degree holder to place a Dr. title (doctor as in after a PhD) to their name.
Along with nursing and medical staff, pharmacists are of great service especially in hospitals, as they act as a source of advice for patients. Their duty is to ensure that the right treatment is being delivered to patients.
Role of PharmDs
The earlier roles of pharmacists were envisioned as simply providing medication according to a prescription and advising patients on dosage and recommendations for medications. But in the present healthcare scenario, the role of a PharmD is evolving and is now more comprehensive, taking into account the PharmD degree and the care they can provide to patients. With technological advances, focus on improving health outcomes, efforts to reduce costs, and greater involvement of patients in their own healthcare, the role of a doctorate of pharmacy is also changing.
With PharmD individuals being accessible, they are now actively involved in carrying out more patient healthcare activities than their so-called textbook-based predefined role. These include medication management, counseling, and also preventive care screenings. The percentage of pharmacists carrying out immunizations and medication therapy management has also significantly gone up over the years.
The role and demand for pharmacists has gone up further considering they have a degree that teaches them patient care as well as management of medication. Thus, it gives them an added advantage over regular physicians, who may not be comfortable handling medication therapy management and immunizations.
Nowadays, the search for low-cost alternatives to handle patient care has given rise to a greater demand for pharmacists, as they provide convenient care which is also low cost. Eventually, this makes it easier for people to access high quality immunization services and preventive screenings at cost-effective rates.
Effectiveness of PharmDs in healthcare management
Pharmacists are considered to be effective in dispensing healthcare services as they have the knowledge to ease care transitions by preventing adverse drug reactions and events. They help improve adherence to medication and also play a role in reducing the rate of readmission to hospitals by providing services such as bedside prescription transactions, counseling services prior to patient discharge, and phone consultations. This has helped further reduce unnecessary expenses incurred during healthcare.
Therefore, the PharmD and their pharmacist program ease the delivery of healthcare to patients, apart from being convenient and cost effective as well.