- Collect information about a patient’s health, social history, and medications including prescriptions, over the counter (OTC) medications, herbal products, and dietary supplements.
- Assess a patient’s health, medications, risk factors, health literacy, and access to medications and other care.
- Help patients to safely select OTC medications, herbal products, and dietary supplements.
- Develop a medication treatment plan in collaboration with other health care professionals, the patient, and caregivers.
- Prepare and dispense prescriptions, ensuring the medications and doses are accurate and safe.
- Identify and prevent harmful drug interactions with other medications, foods, vitamins, supplements, or health conditions.
- Educate patients and caregivers on the appropriate use of medications, side effects, dosages, proper medication storage, and drug-free treatments (e.g., exercise).
- Monitor a patient’s response to a medication treatment plan and recommend adjustments, as needed.
- Use point-of-care tests to assess a patient’s health status (e.g., tests for flu, strep, COVID-19).
- Administer immunizations for vaccine preventable conditions (e.g., flu shots).
- Provide wellness services, such as smoking cessation and blood pressure monitoring.
- Help patients to safely reduce or eliminate acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) pain, and minimize the risk of side effects, addiction, and overdose.
Medication Expertise and Population Health
- Use and share expertise about what the body does to a drug (pharmacokinetics*) and how drugs affect the body (pharmacodynamics*).
- Apply knowledge about how genes affect a person’s response to medications to develop and select drugs and doses that are tailored to a patient’s genetic makeup (pharmacogenomics*).
- Counsel other health professionals and stakeholders on a variety of medication matters.
- Develop policies regarding what medications, treatments, and products best serve the health interests of a patient population in a particular setting (e.g., hospital).
- Stay current on new medications on the market, related products (e.g., digital health devices), and changes to health care systems.
- Oversee or implement systems to prevent medication errors and improve patient outcomes.
- Order, monitor, interpret, and verify lab and test results for various health conditions.
- Promote the appropriate use of antibiotics to stop the spread of a disease in a patient or population (*antibiotic stewardship)
- Develop and maintain pharmacy procedures, protocols, inventories, and disaster response plans to ensure patients have access to the right medications at the right time.
- Identify the most affordable medication options based on a patient’ health care or insurance plan.
- Keep permanent records of all medication treatment plans to improve patient care over time, measure outcomes and workload, and fulfill documentation requirements for the pharmacy.
- Teach and supervise student pharmacists and pharmacy residents to enhance their knowledge, skills, and understanding of the profession.
- Supervise, train, and coordinate the activities of pharmacy technicians and other support staff.
* See the Pharmacy Glossary for a more detailed description of these terms.
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