Article by Jill Drury, PharmD, Pharmacy Times

Brown-bag consults can be essential educational and safety tools to measure and ensure quality care. By asking patients to bring in all their current medications, including OTC, mail-order, specialty, and herbal products, pharmacists can guarantee appropriate and up-to-date care.

Pharmacists are key providers in the continuum of care, consistently helping to identify potential problems and concerns that may require follow-up with prescribers or a medication therapy management (MTM) session. It is essential that a pharmacist’s workflow allow for brown-bag consults, which can do the following:

  • Develop the pharmacist-patient relationship to help create better individualized service, forge patient loyalty and trust, and prevent medical errors
  • Provide insight into a patient’s lifestyle and quality of care
  • Show how well patients understand their conditions and medications
  • Dispensing medications and offering proactive medical services, such as vaccines, to patients can be challenging and complex.

Many barriers prevent patients from following up with providers, taking their medications as prescribed, and taking charge of their health. The complications may be lessened by the community pharmacist. Establishing strong relationships with patients, monitoring drug utilization for proper use, suggesting preventive care, and creating a communicative atmosphere in the pharmacy can overcome barriers.

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