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After completing this chapter, the reader will be able to

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  • Describe the importance of drug information provided by the health care professional in the ambulatory care setting.
  • Discuss the importance of access to up-to-date formulary information in the provision of care in the ambulatory setting.
  • Identify sources with links to full-text evidence-based practice guidelines.
  • Describe desired characteristics of drug information resources specific to the ambulatory environment.
  • Describe reputable drug information sources geared toward the health care professional that are also useful in providing drug information to patients.
  • List ways that practitioners may address concerns regarding access to information.
  • Discuss trends in ambulatory practice, including the disposal of unused, unwanted, or expired medications and immunizations.
  • Identify resources providing quality-assurance indicators for the optimal provision of ambulatory care.

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  • Image not available. The clinician in the ambulatory care setting routinely calls upon many drug information skills on a daily basis to not only provide drug information to patients and other health care providers, but to function competently and efficiently within this practice setting.
  • Image not available. The ambulatory care practitioner is the person with the greatest opportunity to fill the role of medication information provider and interpreter.
  • Image not available. Knowledge of formulary status of medications is only one part of the prescription decision-making process. Whenever they exist, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines should guide prescriptive decision making.
  • Image not available. Ambulatory practitioners have the responsibility to remain up-to-date regarding current practice guidelines.
  • Image not available. Electronic or Internet-based databases are attractive to utilize in ambulatory care for multiple reasons.
  • Image not available. Ambulatory care clinicians bear a responsibility to educate patients on this topic and should therefore be aware of pertinent sites for information.
  • Image not available. While ambulatory clinicians typically recommend and/or dispense most medications, immunizations are medications that are administered in the community setting. Those practitioners immunizing in this setting have the obligation to not only provide these services safely, but to serve as immediate sources of information (i.e., drug information) regarding the medications they are administering.
  • Image not available. Health care professionals involved in the provision of care in the ambulatory care setting should familiarize themselves with the pertinent established quality measures.

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This textbook covers a long list of drug information topics and skills, although not every clinician will use all of these skills on a daily basis. Image not available.  The clinician in the ambulatory care setting routinely calls upon many drug information skills on a daily basis to not only provide drug information to patients and other health care providers, but to function competently and efficiently within this practice setting.

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The ambulatory care practitioner is often required to use a variety of drug information skills and resources during routine encounters with patients to provide information at a personalized and appropriate level. Before doing so, the practitioner must know where to look for appropriate information, and how to interpret and practically apply this information to a specific patient or population. This is where many practitioners fall short. This chapter discusses the resources and skills commonly needed by the ambulatory care ...

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