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Learning Objectives

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 social networking and describe how patients use this tool as a drug information source.

  • Discuss mobile health information technology and its impact on how consumers are obtaining information.

  • Describe the model for drug information services delivered by pharmacists.

  • Design three strategies using electronic media to assist patients in receiving and applying high-quality drug information.

  • Identify characteristics of a high-quality health literate Internet site.

  • Define participatory medicine and describe how this model changes the dynamic of the patient and the health care professional.


Key Concepts

  • image The trend for patients to obtain their health information from sources disconnected from health care professionals continues to grow, contributing to shifted relationships between patients and their traditional touchstones in health care, namely physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.

  • image Answering drug information questions is a routine part of a pharmacist’s day, but it is often a passive process that hinges upon the patient’s initiative to ask important questions regarding their health.

  • image Patient education delivers written or verbal drug information initiated by a health care provider. Potential goals include changing behavior, improving adherence, and ultimately improving patient health.

  • image CHI is often sought by the patient in response to their desire or need for more information about their health. Importantly, CHI is not individualized for a specific patient.

  • image Social media sites allow patients to create content and share information about their health on the Internet.

  • image Wisdom of crowds is a belief that when patients share information about their common conditions through social networking, their collective wisdom is more beneficial than the expert opinion of just one individual.

  • image The use of mobile technology to obtain CHI has continued to expand.

  • image 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 personal interaction with a health care provider, but as an extension of care and a way to improve communication.

  • image Patients often have difficulty finding accurate information in response to their specific health concerns on the Internet.

  • image Once patients identify or are given quality health information, they still may face barriers in being able to use it to improve their health.

  • image Participatory medicine is a model of cooperative health care. In this model, patients no longer play a passive part when it comes to their health care but an active role alongside the health care provider. Patients are seen as valuable health care resources, and providers are encouraged to view them as equal partners.


Pharmacists’ roles and responsibilities continue to evolve in response to changing pharmacy practice acts and a dynamic health ...

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