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After completing this chapter, the reader will be able to

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  • Develop strategies to overcome the impediments that prevent pharmacists from providing effective responses and recommendations.
  • Outline the steps that are necessary to identify the actual drug information needs of the requestor.
  • List and describe the four critical factors that should be considered and systematically evaluated when formulating a response.
  • Define analysis and synthesis and explain how they are employed in the process of formulating responses and recommendations.
  • List the elements and characteristics of effective responses to medication-related queries.

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  • Image not available. Health care professionals can promote rational pharmacotherapy by ensuring that drug information is appropriately interpreted and correctly applied.
  • Image not available. Absence of sufficient background information and pertinent patient data greatly diminishes the ability to provide effective responses.
  • Image not available. Critical information that defines the problem and elucidates the context of the question is not readily volunteered but must be expertly elicited.
  • Image not available. Providing responses and offering recommendations without knowledge of pertinent patient information, the context of the request, or how the information will be applied is unacceptable and potentially dangerous.
  • Image not available. Formulating a response involves the use of a structured, organized approach whereby critical factors are systematically considered and thoroughly evaluated.
  • Image not available. Responses to drug information queries often must be synthesized by integrating data from diverse sources through the use of logic and deductive reasoning.

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Pharmacists are asked to provide responses to a variety of drug information questions every day. Although the type of requestor, query, and setting can vary, the process of formulating responses remains constant. This chapter introduces an organized, structured approach for formulating effective responses and recommendations.

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As the medical literature expands, access to drug information resources by health care professionals and the public continues to grow. Yet many professionals and consumers lack the necessary skills to use this information effectively. This presents an opportunity and a challenge for pharmacists who wish to become bona fide drug therapy experts and assume a broader role in health care.

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Regardless of specialty or practice site, pharmacists must strive to become pharmacotherapy specialists. Whether in a community pharmacy, outpatient clinic, or at the hospital bedside or other practice site, pharmacists can apply their knowledge to the care of patients. Pharmacists should not be relegated to the role of information dispenser or gatekeeper. Pharmacists must extend their knowledge of drugs and therapeutics to the clinical management of individual patients or the care of large populations. Image not available.Moreover, they must promote rational pharmacotherapy by ensuring that drug information is appropriately interpreted and correctly applied.

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Pharmacists should recognize that their responsibility extends beyond simply providing an answer to a question. Rather, it is to assist in resolving therapeutic dilemmas or managing patients' medication regimens. Knowledge of pharmacotherapy alone does not ensure success. Moreover, isolated information is not sufficient for formulating responses to questions or ensuring proper patient management. In fact, it is uncommon to find comprehensive answers in the literature that ...

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