Publish Your Professional Writings

My new colleague, Omudhome Ogbru, Pharm.D., is providing a valuable service with his website www.RxEconsult.com.  This site provides a unique opportunity for health professionals to share their educated writings and collaborate with others in their field.  Following is a press release Dr. Ogbru recently posted.  I am sharing it with all of you, with his approval.

Although there are many websites for networking and publishing content it is not very easy to gain a following or to be visible on the internet. RxEconsult is solving this problem for the healthcare industry. It is easier for members to be visible and their expertise to be recognized by publishing content on a niche professional healthcare network with a captive audience interested in healthcare information. Since the content on RxEconsult is written by experts in their field it is a great source of healthcare articles for everyone.
 
RxEconsult’s premise is simple―share knowledge and be discovered. Last December RxEconsult announced its "Share Knowledge" campaign. The "share knowledge" concept is now the company's strategic focus and it is reflected in its logo and the RxEconsult website. When professionals and businesses share their knowledge they increase their visibility, grow their network, and career or business opportunities usually follow.

Since the website was fully launched a few months ago traffic has steadily increased. RxEconsult has over 1260 members and several thousand visitors monthly. Increased focus on promoting the healthcare network to professionals and businesses will significantly increase awareness and membership. RxEconsult members are physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, healthcare consultants, healthcare employers, pharmaceutical industry professionals, and many more.
Two categories of healthcare articles are published on RxEconsult. They are business and career articles or medications and healthcare. Content on RxEconsult is unique and diverse because it is user generated and created by healthcare professionals and businesses. Members determine what they want to publish and share with the healthcare community. There are over 230 member generated articles published on RxEconsult and more are added weekly. If all healthcare professionals shared their knowledge we can move healthcare forward.

It is very common for RxEconsult articles to be shared on other social media platforms by readers and articles quickly generate several 100 views soon after publication. Many RxEconsult articles rank on page 1 of Google search results and the website has a Google rank of 4. RxEconsult is a great platform for healthcare businesses interested in content marketing, establishing their expertise, and engaging their audience.

As one member Steve Leuck, PharmD of AudibleRx recently stated “RxEconsult is a step in the right direction for getting articles in front of readers.”

About RxEconsult Healthcare Network
Our premise is simple―share what you know and people will find you, learn about you, and follow you. RxEconsult (http://www.rxeconsult.com) is a unique professional networking and collaboration platform focused on the business of healthcare and sharing knowledge through articles and other content. Share Knowledge―Be Discovered.

Thanks for reading and stop by RxEconsult to see if it may be of any value to you or your professional liveliehood.

Thanks
Steve
www.AudibleRx.com


Copyright AudibleRx (TM), all rights reserved. Please do not copy or publish or distribute without consent and approval from AudibleRx (TM).

Pharmacy Innovation + Patient Education (what's your enthusiasm?)


At home I have a picture of me and my dad, kneeling in front of the television, fall 1967.  It is a really cool picture of both of us; however, what stands out is the fantastic television in the background.  This was a big, free-standing box with four wooden legs supporting its massive structure.  The width of the television must have been twice the width of the viewing screen.  You know the kind with the rounded corners and the screen that bubbles out just a little.  It had the standard manual dial channel changer that went from 2 through 13.  Most channels turned off after 11 or 12 at night, no such thing as all night infomercials.  Pretty darn amazing technology for the time. 

Now, we watch full length movies on our smart phone and catch television shows on computer tablets while sitting on the back porch.

I remember in high school, in the dining room, on the way to the bathroom, we had this little counter where we kept the house telephone.  Above the phone was a chalk board, about 2 feet X 3 feet in size.  This was an active center.  Anytime someone in the house had a message for someone else, you put it on the board.  If one of the kids needed to be up a certain time, it was fair game to leave a message on the board for a wake up and 99 times out of a 100, Mom or Dad or someone else would wake you up at the requested time.  If you ever received a phone call and you weren’t home, whoever took the call would always leave a message there on the chalk board for you.  For the time, this was our effective way of text-messaging each other. 

Now, we have conversations with people half way around the world, and those sitting 3 chairs away from us, texting back and forth.  We are all connected with who we wish to be connected with all the time.

I like watching old movies that have a reference to a pharmacist somewhere in it.  There is this one Elvis Presley movie that took place in New Orleans where Elvis is working as a pharmacy clerk.  The movie has a distinct presence of a pharmacist, in the background, compounding medications.  The pharmacist’s knowledge base was that of how to prepare and present the medication in an acceptable and palatable manner. 

Since then, the pharmacist has still maintained the function of compounding medications; however, the profession of pharmacist has worked its way into all corners of the health care system.  Pharmacists are now involved in immunization clinics, dosage monitoring clinics, team members in Intensive Care Units, Operating Rooms, and Emergency Rooms, specialties in all avenues of medicine, integral members of hospital health care teams, pharmacy computer system management and development and yes, patient education.

In 1987 when I started my practice as a pharmacist, counseling was not mandatory.  We would discuss specifics with patients; however, the process was inconsistent from pharmacy to pharmacy.  In 1990 the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, amongst other things, mandated that pharmacists counsel patients with any new prescription or with any change in directions on a current prescription.  These counseling sessions are to include over 16 specific areas of information and it is encouraged that they be face to face so that the pharmacist may evaluate the patients understanding of the information.  Also included is a stack of papers describing all of the important topics about each specific medication that are to be covered in the counseling session.   

Unfortunately, I am not convinced that all of this innovation and expansion of the pharmacy profession has given full recognition of the need to educate patients to participate in their own pharmaceutical care.    Many times a patient will receive their prescription in the mail or from a big box pharmacy and still have questions about their medication. They may read through the material; however, some of the paper work can be quite confusing.  AudibleRxTM was developed to bridge the gap between the pharmacist, the doctor and the patient.

After a patient or family member listens to a Medication Specific Counseling SessionTM on the AudibleRxTM website they will have a clear idea of what they do and don’t know about their medications.  They will then be in the position to take educated questions back to their own pharmacist or doctor.  We want patients to be motivated to adhere to their medication regimen. 

Understanding how and why they are taking their medications will help a patient become motivated to participate in their own pharmaceutical care and achieve their best possible outcome.

Thanks
Steve
www.AudibleRx.com

Copyright AudibleRx (TM), all rights reserved. Please do not copy or publish or distribute without consent and approval from AudibleRx (TM).

Confusion, Age and Medication Adherence


When I think of my Dad, practical and organized come to mind.  Go to school, get a job and never go without some kind of medical insurance.  Stay in constant contact with your debtors to maintain good credit, return phone calls, always follow through and do what you said you are going to do and never strike your children.  Dad was a good man.

Dad lived on his own for quite a few years after Mom passed away.  He has eight children and numerous grandchildren so he always had company; however, he lived alone.   Amongst other visits, I would stop by once weekly to help him with his weekly pill box.  He didn’t take much, some blood pressure and cholesterol medication and maybe a little pain medication now and again. 

After a few years he began missing a day of medication now and again.  No big deal, it was just surprising, because Dad was usually not the forgetful type.  Then, one afternoon I stopped by and most of the pill box was still full from the previous week.  A couple of the pills were gone, but there was no pattern to be seen.  I asked Dad what was going on and he said he was irritated and agitated and didn’t know why he had to take all these pills. 

Soon after that visit we had a doctor’s appointment where Dad tried to discuss how he felt.  The doctor gave Dad an anti-depressant medication to help him with his agitation and generalized anxiety.  As we know, these medications work well; however, they need to be taken on a regular basis and also may make a patient feel a little out-of-sorts for the first 7-10 days of therapy.  Dad took it for a couple days, didn’t like how it made him feel, and wouldn’t take it again. 

 This cycle went around and around for 6 or 8 months.  Dad was becoming acutely disoriented, rapidly confused and increasingly agitated.  Eventually my brothers, sisters and I began taking turns staying over at his house.    I wish I could say I was the 100% compassionate son that was totally understanding of his situation.  I found myself becoming frustrated and angry with Dad for getting so agitated over the littlest of things.

What we didn’t know at the time is that Dad would be diagnosed, two weeks before he passed away, with lung cancer, from his work with asbestos on airplanes back in the 40’s.  The cancer had spread to his brain and was affecting his entire thought process.  Dad reluctantly agreed to give up his car and move into a room in our house.  I was amazed at how calm and relaxed he would become when my wife would sit and listen to his stories for hours at a time. 

Dad passed away two months after he moved in with us.  It was quick and the Hospice team was here to help all of us (brothers, sisters, in-laws, grandkids etc.) deal with the process.  We were very fortunate to have our kids live with their Grandpa for those two months.

So the issue is, how do you help someone adhere to a medication regimen when they are becoming increasingly confused and agitated.  It is even more difficult when the person is living on their own and has been for several years.  To be honest, I don’t have a good solution to this situation.  I have lots of ideas; however, they all involve lots of time, communication and resources. 

I do know this, if you are one of the primary care-givers for a family member that is becoming progressively confused and acutely agitated, you would have positive benefit from an outlet where you can freely talk.  It helps having someone who is an unbiased, third party that you can meet with where you can share your concerns and frustrations.    Without this outlet, you may find yourself building up resentment toward your family member and becoming angry and short with your care giving.

In my opinion, the best action to take is to make a plan before you become confused.  I wrote a blog a few months back about how to Take Charge of Your Medications.  One of the items in that blog discusses the importance of picking a family member who understands your medications and who agrees to manage your medications for you if and when you are no longer able to do so.

The next important concept is to create your plan on how you will be taken care of in the event you are no longer able to take care of yourself.  Do you have children who will volunteer to come over and stay with you?  Would you rather be in a facility of some kind that takes care of your needs and manages your medications for you?  Make some appointments and visit a few of the local facilities to see how they feel and find out how much they cost. 

These decisions are much easier to discuss when you are of sound mind and body.  Gather your family together, address the issue, and make sure everyone is on the same page about how you will be taken care of in the event you are unable to take care of yourself.

Thanks
Steve

Copyright AudibleRx (TM), all rights reserved.