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Drug Information Questions and Communicating with Health Care Providers

Level of activity: Intermediate

Setting: Classroom


ACPE Standards 2016: 1.1, 2.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.4, 3.6, 4.4

EPAs: Patient Care Provider (Collect, Analyze, Care planning), Interprofessional Team Member (Collaborate), Information Master (Evidence-based care)

PPCP: Collect, Assess, Plan

Instructors can request access to the Instructor's Guide on AccessPharmacy. Email Customer Success ( for more information.


John (JD) Bickel, PharmD, BCPS, is Assistant Professor—Practice at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. After receiving his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ohio State in 2013, Dr. Bickel practiced in the rural community hospital setting. He serves as a co-coordinator for the third and fourth courses of a six-semester Integrated Patient Care Laboratory (IPCaL) sequence, where he teaches institutional and ambulatory care pharmacy skills. Dr. Bickel currently practices as an inpatient pharmacist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, pursuing interests in medication reconciliation, sterile compounding, and precepting.

David Matthews, PharmD, BCACP, is Assistant Professor—Practice at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Dr. Matthews received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from The Ohio State University in 2013. He completed a PGY1 residency in the ambulatory care setting at The Ohio State University General Internal Medicine and became a Board-Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist in 2017. Dr. Matthews is also a faculty instructor in the IPCaL course sequence. He practices at a primary care office within Ohio State General Internal Medicine, where he provides chronic disease state management, transitional care management, and medication therapy management services to patients.

Brief Overview and Setting

In this simple yet authentic activity, students will be asked a drug information question by a health care provider and must provide a prompt and appropriate answer. The underlying context of the health care provider’s question is not immediately apparent based on how the question is initially phrased. To provide the most appropriate response, then, students must ask follow-up questions to gather additional information and to identify the provider’s underlying question. Successful completion of the activity will require students to apply basic therapeutic knowledge, and to employ effective communication, drug information, time management, and clinical decision-making skills.

This activity takes place during the second semester of the second (P2) year of a 4-year PharmD curriculum. It was developed for Integrated Patient Care Laboratory (IPCaL) 4—the fourth of a six-course, skills-based core sequence. In each IPCaL course, approximately 130 students are divided into four laboratory sections (with approximately 32–34 students), each meeting weekly. Students participate in three different versions of this activity over multiple lab sessions to gain practice before demonstrating the skill in a high-stakes assessment. Prior to this activity, students have practiced the skill of a pharmacist-initiated communication with a health care provider and have answered drug information activities in ...

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