Pharmacists are a resource for patients

Jerry Meece, RPh, CDCES, FACA, FADCES: There are tools. What tools can pharmacists use to better educate patients in this short time? What resources do they have? What have you found useful for pharmacists in your practice? What is available to them?

Jennifer D. Goldman, RPh, PharmD, CDCES, BC-ADM, FCCP: There are many free resources that we can access, including Google. The American Diabetes Association has many free resources, as well as other educational areas and different companies that make products that patients use. If they have a certain insulin, there are instructions there and patient resources. We can go online and get that for them. Some pharmacists may have access to various people around the world at these different companies who can bring demonstration pens and needles and small mannequins that show where to inject. Show them and make sure they know where to get this information so that we can provide it, but also show them what websites to visit to view this information. Make sure they have something at home so they know where to call or where to look if they get stuck.

Jerry Meece, RPh, CDCES, FACA, FADCES: Have something available for them. I’ve told you this before, but this reinforces it. If I look in my offices, there are 15 things we have, including accessories, food accessories, the small [dummy] you inject and demonstration insulin pens. You hold your pen, I’ll hold my pen, and let’s go through this together. These are all available. All you have to say to a manufacturer is, “I do a lot of diabetes education now. I need resources. They will go over the gunwales more than you even imagine. Be sure to take advantage of these resources.

To finalize all this, what do you think is the overall role of the pharmacist, the practitioner and the educator in relation to people with type 2 diabetes? Is this where it should be? How can pharmacists be more effective in advising diabetic patients?

Jennifer D. Goldman, RPh, PharmD, CDCES, BC-ADM, FCCP: Depending on where you are in the country and where collaborative practice is available, this is definitely a way forward for pharmacists. But regardless of that, individualized patient care [is important]. As pharmacists, we need to make sure we stay up to date and increase our skills and education, especially with technology. There are continuous glucometers. You mentioned connected pens. There are Bluetooth compatible glucometers. [We need to] ensuring that we keep up to date with technology and new drug treatments.

The ADA [American Diabetes Association] the guidelines have been updated in real time since 2018. If new drugs or impactful new studies with evidence come out, they will be updated every 3 or 4 months in the ADA guidelines. Make sure we understand the weather in the range and make inroads with telehealth and telemedicine. We need to be experts in drug therapy, which may include technology, and making the most of the 5 minutes you see this patient.

Jerry Meece, RPh, CDCES, FACA, FADCES: I agree. That’s great information, Jennifer. If there is one piece of advice I could give, it is that if you have nothing more to ask of a diabetic patient, put it aside and ask him: “What is the most difficult thing that you do to manage your diabetes? What drives you crazy about working with your diabetes? And listen. Then you have the opportunity to address all that they have that we can now address as diabetes educator pharmacists.

With that, I would like to thank Dr. Goldman for this excellent discussion. I would like to thank Drug topics®for making the filming of this webcast possible. I want to thank our viewers for the privilege of their time, and I want to wish everyone a great end to the day. Thank you all.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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