After completing this chapter, the reader will be able to
- Discuss limitations of the current approaches pharmacists use to deliver drug information to their patients.
- Compare and contrast patient education and consumer health information (CHI) as drug information sources for patients.
- Define Web 2.0 and social networking and describe how patients use these tools as drug information sources.
- Describe a new model for drug information services delivered by community pharmacists.
- Design three strategies using electronic media to assist patients in receiving and applying high-quality drug information.
- List seven characteristics of a high-quality, health-literate Internet site.
- Define information therapy in the context of pharmacist-delivered drug information services.
- The trend for patients to obtain their health information from sources disconnected from health care professionals is not going away, and it has shifted relationships between patients and their traditional touchstones in health care, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.
- Answering drug information questions is a routine part of a pharmacist's day, but it is too often a passive process that hinges on patients' initiative to ask the important questions regarding their health.
- Patient education is a planned activity customized to individual patient needs.
- Consumer health information (CHI) is material that is actively sought by the patient and is not tailored to that patient's specific situation.
- Social media sites allow patients to create content and share information about their health on the World Wide Web.
- Some patients trust the collective wisdom of a group more than the advice of an individual, even if that individual is an expert.
- Patients often have difficulty finding appropriate information in response to their specific health concerns on the World Wide Web.
- Pharmacists should discuss with their patients why they remain an important source of drug information. Patients should be encouraged not to see CHI as a replacement for actual interaction with a health care provider, but as an extension of care and a way to improve communication.
- Health literacy is the capability of patients to read or hear health information, understand it, and then act on it. Once patients acquire quality health information, they may face health literacy barriers when applying that information.
- Information therapy elevates the term drug information from a passive-sounding process to an active component of treatment plans by recognizing that accurate and complete drug information proactively relayed to patients is much more effective than just assuming it will be sought out. Information therapy encompasses both the patient and the health care professional, asking both to work together in making the best possible health care decision for the patient.
Pharmacist's roles and responsibilities continue to evolve in response to changing practice acts and a dynamic health care environment. One constant is the pharmacist's key function as a provider of quality, evidence-based drug information. However, pharmacists are not the only source of drug information. The Internet has made information from sources other than health professionals more readily available and Web sites devoted to health information are ...