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  1. A care plan is developed for each of the patient's medical conditions being managed with pharmacotherapy.

  2. Care plans include goals of therapy, interventions, and a schedule for the next follow-up evaluation.

  3. A goal of therapy is the desired response or endpoint that you and your patient want to achieve from pharmacotherapy.

  4. The care plan includes interventions to resolve the drug therapy problems, interventions to achieve goals of therapy, and any necessary interventions to prevent drug therapy problems.

  5. Pharmacotherapy interventions include; initiating new drug therapy, discontinuing drug therapy, or increasing the dosage, decreasing the dosage regimen, or changing the product.

  6. Additional interventions to achieve the goals of therapy can include; patient education, medication adherence reminders/devices, referrals to other health care practitioners, or initiating a monitoring plan including how to use the equipment to measure outcome parameters.

  7. The last activity in the care plan is scheduling a follow-up evaluation with the patient to determine the progress toward achieving the goals of therapy and desired outcomes.

  8. Documentation of the care plan shows the relationship between the goals of therapy and the interventions made to achieve the goals.


The purpose of the care plan is to determine, with the patient, how to manage his or her medical conditions or illnesses successfully with pharmacotherapy and includes all the work that is necessary to accomplish this. The activities and responsibilities involved in care planning are described in Table 7-1.

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Table 7-1 Care Planning Activities and Responsibilities

Standard of Care 4: Development of Goals of Therapy


There is a standard for each of the activities in the care plan. The first of these follows:

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Standard 4: The Practitioner Identifies Goals of Therapy that Are Patient-Centered

Measurement criteria

  1. Goals of therapy are established for each indication managed with drug therapy.

  2. Desired goals of therapy are described in terms of the observable or measurable clinical and/or laboratory parameters to be used to evaluate effectiveness and safety of drug therapy.

  3. Goals of therapy are mutually negotiated with the patient and other health care practitioners when appropriate.

  4. Goals of therapy are realistic in relation to the patient's present and potential capabilities.

  5. Goals of therapy include a time frame for achievement.


The structure of a care plan functions as a framework for the cooperative efforts of all those involved in the management of a patient's medications especially regarding the goals of therapy. ...

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