HealthMarch 05, 2022

Six common pharmacist challenges that can be solved by a single drug information resource

pharmacist examining medication in pharmacy
Gone are the days when pharmacists were only known for dispensing pills. With the emergence of new drugs and pharmacogenomics, and with many clinicians taking new roles on the front lines of public health efforts like COVID-19 vaccine administration, pharmacists are now recognized as a critical and essential part of a patient's healthcare team.

But like many medical professionals, pharmacists across the healthcare spectrum today face a number of technical and resource challenges as they strive to provide the best and most efficient medication decisions and patient care.

Six key challenges pharmacists face

As pharmacists become more heavily involved in patient care, the need for access to evidence-based clinical information also increases – especially at the point of care. Unfortunately, the industry is saturated with existing resources to help with dosing and drug interactions, and they can often be outdated, cumbersome, and time-consuming to search through.

1. Too many disparate resources

It is challenging to find a centralized, trustworthy evidence-based resource for drug information and drug interactions. Instead, pharmacists often have to sift through various books, tools, and other resources to find the drug data they need. The increased advancement and complexity of drug options enhance the need for a single reliable digital resource with a proven track record that is trusted in the industry.

2. Increasing specialty medications

Specialty medications on the market have increased by more than 1200% since the 1990s, reports Pharmacy Times. While these drugs offer new hope for patients, they tend to be expensive, require prior authorization, or involve exchanging detailed clinical information between prescribers and specialty pharmacists. All this increases the demand for the latest drug information as well as patient education materials.

3. A demand for multitasking

Between dispensing, expanded renal dosing, patient safety screening, medication therapy management, and more, pharmacists are busier than ever. Spending too much time finding trustworthy drug information at the point of care can be burdensome when added to the many responsibilities.

4. Outdated information across databases

Pharmacists need the latest, evidence-based drug interaction information at their fingertips to ensure accurate and safe prescription recommendations. Resources often do not keep up with newly released drugs, recent drug changes, and contraindication, risking patient safety.

5. The human and financial cost of medical errors

Globally, medication errors are all too common, with an associated cost of $42 billion, reports the World Health Organization. As some pharmacists report working 12- to 14-hour shifts, it's imperative they have access to efficient, accurate information to avoid errors and adverse patient outcomes.

6. Awareness of specific patient population needs

A patient's age, gender, and even history of substance abuse can play a key role when it comes to prescriptions. Pharmacists must understand how to negotiate nuanced interactions and provide supporting resources, such as advising a patient on the timing of doses or screening a patient who may be misusing opioids.

So, what's the solution to these challenges? Having access to a single drug information database can help pharmacists save time and potentially reduce adverse events for patients.

What does a single drug information resource offer?

Pharmacists need up-to-the-minute drug and drug-interactions information, along with tools such as dosing calculators, pill identifiers, and medical calculators, all in one place. With a single source, such as Lexicomp®, pharmacists can access reliable decision support information more easily and efficiently.

In a survey of 977 Lexicomp and Facts and Comparisons individual subscribers, 91% said Lexicomp is integral to their work, and 90% said they were able to find answers to most of their clinical questions.1 Whether it's a full package of online and mobile access to infectious disease resources and clinical insights or an essential link to drug interaction tools on the go, a centralized reliable drug information resource can offer a range of features to address operational and clinical challenges.

Evidence-based drug recommendations

A trusted single-source for referential drug information offers peace of mind: the evidence-based content used to advise and dispense medication needs to be developed by experts, vetted by leaders in the field, and based on the latest research.

Convenient mobile app

It's important to be able to treat patients anytime, anywhere. Pharmacists need a mobile app that is simple to navigate that provides fast answers to critical point-of-care questions.

A patient-specific approach to dosing

Pharmacists need to make clinical decisions for each patient based on their individual medical needs, whether that's pregnancy, recent bariatric surgery, or renal impairment. A solution with highly specific clinical recommendations and a trusted drug database helps pharmacists make more precise dosing decisions.

Patient education materials

According to U.S. Pharmacist, medication adherence is as low as 50% for patients who take medications for chronic conditions. A comprehensive drug information resource makes it easier for pharmacists to combat this problem. Lexicomp has over 2,400 adult and 1,500 medication leaflets written at an approachable reading level and available in more than nineteen languages, supporting improved patient safety and outcomes.

Clinicians and patients everywhere rely on pharmacists for accurate and safe patient care and drug recommendations. It's imperative that pharmacy staff are equipped with the right information tools and technology to help them face their most pressing challenges and improve patient outcomes and safety. Lexicomp can be that trusted resource.

For more information on Lexicomp's options for individual pharmacists, please visit the Lexicomp Store.

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1. 2021 Lexicomp/F&C Individual Subscriber Survey, N=977

Evidence-based drug reference solution used in the workflow and on-the-go
Clinicians choose Lexicomp® for evidence-based drug information to support smart, safe medication decisions. Studies show that Lexicomp is the preferred drug reference solution for care teams.
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