Pharmacists Make a Difference

JUNE 01, 2003

A cholesterol-screening project implemented by Indianapolis-based Marsh Pharmacies and funded by Pfizer Inc showed that pharmacists? interventions brought positive results for the patients. Pharmacists from 10 of the 40 stores in the chain, along with PharmD candidates and pharmacy students from Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, worked together.

During the project, 221 patients were screened for total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and blood glucose. At the screening, patients were given their test results, and, based on preset screening guidelines and individual risk factors, they were counseled to see their physician within a certain time period. Also, patients could have their results faxed to their physician?s office. Of the total patients screened, 64 said that they wanted the results given to their physicians.

As part of the counseling, patients were educated on hyper-lipidemia and were encouraged to ask questions. Educational topics included treatment and preventive measures that could be implemented with their physician?s approval.

Of the 221 patients, 152 required a physician visit within 2 months. This group was separated into 2 study arms, follow-up with a phone call (41 patients) and control (111 patients). In the follow-up arm, the researchers found that 15 patients saw their physician, compared with 26 who did not.

Seven months later, patients were called again to see if they had seen their physician. In the follow-up group, a total of 30 of the 41 patients had. In the control group, only 17 of the 64 patients who were reached reported having seen their physician (47 patients could not be reached). These results showed that a follow-up phone call to the patients with cholesterol levels outside the accepted range had an impact.



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