(By Temitope Obayendo)
For pharmacists in Nigeria to be rated successful in their practice of pharmaceutical care, comparable with their counterparts in other progressive climes, there must be proper documentation of the process, Pharm Bisi Bright , CEO, Live Well Initiative (LWI), has said.
The LWI boss made the remark while presenting the keynote address at the Pharmacy Week 2013 held by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos Branch, at the Airport Hotel, on August 29th, 2013.
Speaking on the theme of the programme, “Pharmaceutical Care and Public Health Interventions as Key Tools to Healthy Nation Building”, Bright said documentation is the bedrock of pharmaceutical care, stressing that “if it is not documented, it did not happen”.
She further explained how pharmaceutical care documentation is measured in different parts of the world, saying it is measured as a Core Procedure Technique (CPT) in the USA, while in the UK, Australia, India and many other countries, it is measured as Outcome and Impact.
She therefore called on the leadership of the pharmacy profession at the national and state levels to rise to the challenge, by ensuring that all pharmacists in the nation adhere to the rule of documentation in pharmaceutical care.
Earlier on in her presentation, the consultant clinical pharmacist had defined pharmaceutical care as “a collaborative drug therapy process usually initiated by the pharmacist and in consultation with the physician, with respect to the correct use of medicines, medication adherence and self-medication.”
She noted that pharmaceutical care ensures that the patient uses his medication as correctly, efficiently and safely as possible, with minimum side effects and with resultant desirable outcomes. “Since 70 per cent of all medical interventions involve the use of medicines, then it can be said that pharmaceutical care plays a significant role in 70 per cent of all medical interventions,” she asserted.
On the second tool for healthy nation building, which is public health, she noted that public health was more than providing treatment for an illness: “it focuses on health concerns and the resultant disease burden in relation to the individual and his or her external environment.”
Reacting to the issue of documentation, the Lagos State PSN chairman, Pharm. Akintunde Obembe, said he agreed with the submissions of the keynote speaker on documentation in pharmaceutical care, adding that the leadership of the profession at each level would brace up to the challenge.
“Honestly, as she has really challenged us, we are going to take it up, because documentation is the very key to enlighten us better in whatever we are doing, because if it is not documented, it is assumed pharmaceutical care is not done. We have now come to that realisation that whatever we are doing must be documented. And not ordinary documentation, but it must be scientifically documented, so that we can, at a glance, know where we are, what we are doing, what we need to do etc.,” he said.
On the level of achievements the state chapter had recorded so far, the PSN boss said the chapter had a lot to offer to the people, which could be deduced even from the theme of the pharmacy week. He disclosed that members of the chapter had realised that pharmaceutical care was very important in health care delivery; as a result, they had decided to actually look at all that was needed in the process, so that they could contribute towards the development of the entire national health care delivery process.
He also acknowledged that, though there was shortage of pharmacists, the chapter would not be hindered from achieving its goal of providing safe and beneficial pharmaceutical care. “There are emerging roles for pharmacists in different areas; and our people in the communities are still behind in knowing what to do, in terms of safe medicines; thus, all these things and many more are what we are doing to sensitise the environment, so that their health will not be jeopardised,” he remarked.