Brown bag counseling sessions do not have to be time-consuming or burdensome.
Brown bag counseling sessions do not have to be time-consuming or burdensome. They may be offered to select patients whom you have identified as potential beneficiaries of extra counseling. By offering to review a patient’s medications, the pharmacist is able to better connect with the patient and to develop the interpersonal skills essential for a community pharmacist. Ideally, the brown bag session will allow you to educate the patient and assess any safety and quality- of-care concerns. Plus, it’s an excellent means of fostering the pharmacist—patient bond.
Brown Bag Consult
Patients suffering from chronic autoimmune disease states (eg, rheumatoid arthritis) are particularly amenable to brown bag sessions and medication therapy management (MTM). A short brown bag session can help a patient understand his or her treatment and can promote regimen compliance. The involvement of the pharmacist provides an additional source of information and a safety and compliance check.
LB—a 48-year-old male—is a 3-year customer. Over that time, LB has been diagnosed with multiple disease states, including a recent diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In your last counseling session, you noted that LB appeared more depressed and lacked his usual positive energy. He appeared frustrated with his therapy and the financial impact of his disease states. You ask LB if he would be interested in participating in a brown bag session. You explain the brown bag consult and let him know you are interested in reviewing his medications with him. As you explain, the brown bag consult will allow LB to maximize his prescriptions, ensure safety, and possibly reduce his financial burden. LB appreciates your advice and offer, so he schedules a time to meet with you. LB will bring in all of his medications, which you will review with him in detail.
Upon reviewing LB’s medication profile, you discover the following:
When LB comes in for his scheduled appointment, you find the following additional medications in his brown bag:
After reviewing the medications in LB’s possession, you realize LB would benefit from an MTM session, and you schedule a follow-up appointment. An MTM session will allow you to further communicate with LB’s health care providers, obtain lab values, and further evaluate LB’s medical goals, especially those relating to his RA. An MTM session will also provide you the opportunity to offer in-depth disease state education, as requested by LB. In the meantime, you have some questions and suggestions surrounding his medications: