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Role of hospital pharmacists in post-COVID medication management

Authors:

Aspasia-Athina Volakaki ,

Pancadic General Hospital of Tripoli, GR
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Konstantina Nikou

Sotiria Hospital, Greece, GR
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Abstract

Introduction: Hospital pharmacists can both help and ensure that patients are well educated on any new or chronic medications. They can help patients monitor symptoms after discharge. Keeping in contact with post-COVID patients can ensure proper healthcare management. Usually most of the patients were in need of ICU and were transported from islands or other areas to reference hospitals. The development of this type of pharmaceutical care can lower the burden from doctors especially if they were in a distant area.

Aims and methods: The aim of this attempt is to Increase patient adherence through understanding of their medication post discharge, which will lead them to faster healing and better living. Ameliorating post-COVID patients quality of life is our main goal. Most of the time patient carers need to be involved as well.

Plans are made to establish a 15 min educational interview during first venue of the post-COVID patient, in order to ensure their treatment outcome. Therefore, a first face-to-face contact with each patient would be preferable, continuing with monthly meetings and follow-up calls. Patient carers can also attend these meetings.

Results: After being informed about the full medical history of critical patients and build up a bidirectional communication between hospital pharmacists and hospital doctors, especially from reference COVID-19 hospitals,  we were able to start the meetings with the patients. In the development of this type of pharmaceutical care we managed to overcome barriers such as lack of information, increase in workload, lack of laboratory data and full access to all electronic data.

Eventually hospital readmissions which are associated with unfavorable patient outcomes and high financial costs, regarding post-COVID patients,  were prevented by hospital pharmacist’s medication management. Nevertheless the cost of some extra hospital pharmacists involved in post-COVID patients discharge and follow-up will be lower than the cost of patient readmission.

Conclusions: The targeted population, post-COVID patients, that were transported from reference hospitals to provincial hospitals, aiming to follow-up their medication, were well educated. Doctors cooperated well with hospital pharmacists through tele-health programs. All this resulted in better educated patients post discharge regarding their medication and optimized patient management. Moreover we managed to lower the overall cost of healthcare by increasing adherence.

Implications for applicability and limitations: In the next step community pharmacists and home care nurses should be involved as well.

Moreover limitations such as poor tele-health programs or bad internet connections can be an issue. Some problems may occur if there is poor communication between healthcare professionals. Finally actions need to be taken in order to be able to educate patients with special needs.

How to Cite: Volakaki A-A, Nikou K. Role of hospital pharmacists in post-COVID medication management. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):241. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC22335
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Published on 04 Nov 2022.

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