Communication Between Community Pharmacist and General Practitioner

A Pharmacist and A Doctor share at least one common aim; To ensure the safety and well-being of patients. They work hand in hand to provide outstanding patient care continuously. The doctors will diagnose the condition, and the pharmacists will draw up a treatment plan, using their clinical knowledge and understanding of drug effects to treat the diagnosed condition (perfect harmony).

As a relief community pharmacist, I had minimal opportunity to communicate with any member of the prescribing team. By the time I found my feet and get a hold of the day’s task, it was time to say goodbye and move on to the next store. However as a pharmacist base in a Medical Centre, communicating with the prescribing team is on a whole different level.
When I first walked into the dispensary,I noticed a direct phone-line to the medical centre, I thought to myself that has not been used for years. Months later, am in shock how many times I make or receive calls from the medical centre.

So many queries can easily be resolved with a single phone call, it could be a clinical issue or a pricing issue (community pharmacy is a business).

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CALL 1: Antibiotics Intervention:
Everyday there is a high influx of antibiotic prescriptions in a community pharmacy. A dosage calculation is usually required for children, some patients are allergic to certain types of antibiotics while others have medication interaction. One call can get me a new prescription.

CALL 2: Product Recommendation
The most exciting and terrifying call. By the end of my pre-registration year, my tutor had successfully passed on her knowledge on calls like this, if that is not enough well that’s why every pharmacy has a BNF (British National Formulary).

CALL 3: Ambiguous Prescription
The main culprits are “Hand-Written” prescriptions. I attempt to carry out some detective work, gather all information and see if a clear answer can be outlined. When all fails I just pick the phone and make that call.

CALL 4: Product Availability
Against all the Chemistry, Biology and Maths modules I had to take, turns out stock check is also part of my job description as a community pharmacist (I am not complaining). I have been told I have excellent telephone manners😁.

At The End Of Each Day, I will like to think I contributed to patient Safety.

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