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Specialty Pharmacists are Essential Patient Advocates


Specialty pharmacists can play an important role as patient advocates, helping people navigate a complex and often labyrinthine health care system, especially those who have a terminal illness.

The major problem is that healthcare providers are stovepiped and do not share information. This includes physicians, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and insurance carriers. Getting access to quality care and paying for it are becoming harder.

Because of their expertise and the high regard in the medical profession, specialty pharmacists are uniquely positioned to be effective patient advocates, especially when patients are nearing the end of life. Specialty pharmacists know the likely outcomes of various types of treatment for people with a terminal illness and so can be a big help in preparing these people for end-of-life care.

Helping the Terminally Ill

Many patients with terminal illness generally receive very good care, with the most advanced medications that could improve their quality of life, lengthen their life or even possibly cure the illness. However, what is missing is a discussion about what lies ahead, what the various outcomes might possibly be, and how to prepare for them. The patient advocate has an important role in managing expectations and talking to patients about their needs during the final stage of life.

When Nearing the End

For many families, talking about the final stage of life is something they generally would rather avoid. As a result, many are ill-prepared when the patient is nearing death, surprised even by what they are seeing, and unsure what to do or how to best care for the patient.

By working with patients and their families, helping to coordinate care among healthcare providers, and educating families and patients about what they can expect in the time leading up to and during the final hours, specialty pharmacists can provide an important advocacy service. They can help patients end their lives with dignity and contentment.

Because of their experience working with these patients, and medical knowledge, specialty pharmacists have the training and expertise to navigate the healthcare system, build trust with patients, lower costs, and work toward the best outcomes for terminally ill patients.

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If you are a pharmacist looking for your first job or a new career challenge, join one of the nation’s leading pharmacist placement firms. Voted Best of Staffing by both clients and talent, Rx relief is a specialty staffing company providing supplemental pharmacy professionals for all pharmacy practice settings. As a member of our team, you’ll enjoy a customized approach to your career needs as well as comprehensive benefits! Join our dynamic team, apply today!

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