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  1. The purpose of the follow-up evaluation is to determine the patient's outcomes in relation to the desired goals of therapy.

  2. Parameters that reflect both effectiveness and drug safety are evaluated at each follow-up visit.

  3. The evaluation of effectiveness of pharmacotherapy includes measurable improvement in clinical signs and symptoms and/or laboratory values.

  4. The evaluation of the safety of pharmacotherapy includes evidence of adverse drug reactions and/or toxicity.

  5. Patient adherence and its influence on outcomes are determined during the follow-up evaluation.

  6. The outcome status of the patient's medical condition being treated or prevented with drug therapy is determined and described.

  7. The patient is reassessed to determine if any new drug therapy problems have developed since the last follow-up visit.

  8. The follow-up evaluation is the step in which actual results and outcomes from drug therapies are documented.

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The follow-up evaluation is an essential step in the care process. It is the step in which actual results and outcomes from drug therapies are observed, evaluated, and documented. This is the important step where you see the results of your previous work. The time and energy invested in your assessment of the patient's drug-related needs benefits you at the follow-up evaluation. Although most follow-up visits require a brief amount of time compared to some initial assessments, the follow-up evaluation is the step in which you gain new clinical experience and knowledge.

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The follow-up evaluation solidifies your commitment to your patient, strengthens the therapeutic relationship, and demonstrates your willingness to work with your patient to achieve the desired goals of therapy. The primary purpose of every follow-up evaluation is to determine the patient's outcomes that have resulted from the drug therapies and care plans you have provided. Be sure to evaluate both effectiveness and safety parameters each time. The follow-up evaluation is such an important step that you need to “follow-up early and follow-up often.”

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The purpose of the follow-up evaluation is to determine the patient's outcomes from drug therapy and compare these results with the patient's goals of therapy. The follow-up evaluation activities and responsibilities are described in Table 8-1.

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Table 8-1 Follow-Up Evaluation Activities and Responsibilities
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Standard of Care 7: Follow-Up ...

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