Pharmacy Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do health-system pharmacists work?

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Home care companies
  • Health-maintenance organizations
  • Other organized health-system settings

What do they do?

  • Advise doctors and other healthcare professionals about medication selection and administration
  • Counsel patients on proper medication use
  • Monitor medication therapy to ensure effectiveness
  • Evaluate new medications and recommend the safest and most effective therapies for individual patients

How do they work with doctors and nurses?

  • Health-system pharmacists work together with doctors, nurses and all other professional who provide patient care
  • Pharmacists are important members of every patient's health care team

What information can health-system pharmacists provide?

  • Information on your medications, including purpose, effectiveness, side effects and dosage
  • How to take medications properly so that they are safe and effective
  • Ways to help prevent improper medication use and adverse drug reactions
  • Ways to help prevent the development of drug-resistant strains of bacteria
  • Proper medication use after the patient leaves a health-system

How do health-system pharmacists help keep patients safe?

  • By reviewing patients' medication therapy for each new medication prescribed to prevent possible interactions
  • By discussing the most effective therapies with doctors and nurses
  • By monitoring medication dosage and administration and making any necessary adjustments

What else can health-system pharmacists tell me about?

  • Cautions and tips in choosing patches, gum and other smoking-cessation aids
  • Using aspirin to prevent heart attack and strokes
  • Medications that go from prescription to over-the-counter status
  • The most effective ways to treat high cholesterol
  • Medications used to treat common conditions such as diabetes and asthma
  • Taking medications with alcohol
  • The proper immunizations adults and children should have
  • Special considerations to keep in mind when giving children medication

Tips for preventing medication errors and adverse drug reactions

  • Keep a personal list of all drug therapy
  • Maintain a list of medications you cannot take due to allergic reactions
  • Upon entering a health system or during a doctor's visit, provide a complete list of all medications you are taking, including vitamins and alternative medicines
  • Learn the names of all the medications that are prescribed to you
  • Be familiar with the appearance of your medications
  • Check your medications before taking them to ensure they are correct
  • Know the dosage and schedule for all medications you take
  • Ask your health-system pharmacist if you have any questions about the treatments or medications you receive
  • Request written information about your medications
  • Ask questions about anything you do not understand
  • If you are too ill to follow these recommendations, ask a friend or a relative to assist you
  • Keep your family safe by keeping a separate list of medications for each family member

Tips for preventing drug-resistant bacteria

  • Take the prescribed dose for the full time it's prescribed
  • Don't skip doses or stop taking the medication before the prescription has been finished
  • Remember that antibiotics should be used for bacterial infections, not viral infections
  • Never self-medicate with antibiotics that have not been prescribed to you
  • Get vaccinations that offer protection from infection
  • If you are ill, try not to spread infections by going to work or sending a sick child to day care or school