Celebrating National Pharmacist Day: Q&A with Danielle Parker, Pharm.D.

Each year on January 12, the nation recognizes and celebrates pharmacists. At Vytalize Health, pharmacists play a huge role in our partnerships with primary care practices.

Vytalize’s Clinical Pharmacist, Danielle Parker, Pharm.D. tells us about why pharmacists are an integral part of value-based care teams, and how they work to improve patients’ health.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

My typical workday starts off by checking for any new patient communications and referrals in the morning so that I can work them in throughout the day as needed. I attend many meetings to maintain and grow the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program within our company and have scheduled MTM consultations throughout the day so it’s important to keep my calendar organized and plan ahead. I typically use the end of the workday to finish patient calls, and update patient charts as well as send out documentation.

How do you work with Vytalize’s clinical team and partnering doctors to achieve better outcomes for patients?

I work with many different areas of our clinical team to help care for patients. The Registered Nurses refer eligible patients to me, and I meet with the patients to do a Medication Therapy Management consultation. During this visit, we cover all the patient’s medications and any questions or concerns they may have. After the consultation, I provide the consultation information to the patient’s primary care provider, and we all work together to deliver great care for each patient depending on their specific needs. There have been many relationships developed during this program, and it really shows how important quality patient care is to the entire Vytalize community.

Vytalize offers additional support to partnering practices and their patients through the Priority Care and Connected Care programs, the latter offering clinical support between doctor’s appointments. What is the ultimate goal of the Connected Care Program? How does the clinical pharmacist help to achieve this goal?

The goal is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of patients with chronic conditions by providing comprehensive, coordinated, and patient centered care. The clinical pharmacist is vital to improve patient outcomes by performing a comprehensive medication review and offering recommendations to the provider.

Do you see any trends when reviewing medication?

There are many trends, but the most common thing I see when I’m going over medications with a patient that tends to surprise people is that they don’t know what their medications are, or why they are taking them. This is a wonderful place for us to step in and help sort them out, explain what they’re for and the importance of each medication. This helps to improve adherence but also helps to build confidence and allow the patient to feel more in control of their conditions.

What are some barriers to medication adherence?

Pharmacists work daily to overcome the many barriers to medication adherence. This can include challenges such as obtaining the medication due to cost or transportation, the patient may not think they need the medication, especially if what they’re treating doesn’t produce any symptoms; they feel fine, why do they need treatment? Patients often become nonadherent if they have a complex medication regimen or too many medications. Being afraid of potential side effects of a medication can also factor into the patient’s adherence, they often do read the patient information printouts that come with their prescriptions and without proper explanation and counseling this can scare them unnecessarily. Educating our patients is extremely important, adherence directly affects treatment outcomes and the overall health of our patients.

To learn more about the Connected Care Program, contact us today!