Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Allow pharmacists to do all that they are trained to do | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors – Active Lifestyle Media

Follow or share

Health CareAllow pharmacists to do all that they are trained to do | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors

Allow pharmacists to do all that they are trained to do | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors

[ad_1]

For more than a year, the pandemic has stressed our health care system, exacerbating health disparities and limiting access to health care. During this critical time, pharmacists have demonstrated again and again that not only are they an integral part of the healthcare team, but a critical feature of our public health response. From providing COVID-19 testing to administering the COVID-19 vaccines, pharmacists have used their extensive training and expertise to serve patients in hospitals, ambulatory care centers, long-term care facilities and in communities across the state, including medically underserved areas.

However, pharmacists initially did not have the authority to test for COVID-19 and administer the vaccine. To tap into this underused resource, the governor issued an executive order and updated New York’s antiquated laws so pharmacists could use their extensive training and clinical expertise to combat the pandemic. And while COVID-19 testing and vaccinating are steps in the right direction, the expanded authority for pharmacists to test is temporary and vaccinate for COVID-19 is too narrow.

Forty-seven other states allow pharmacists to administer all CDC-recommended vaccines. New York does not. For a state that prides itself in leading the nation, New York is at the bottom of the list when it comes to access to vaccinations other than COVID-19.

As the number of physicians continues to decrease, with a projected shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033, we must allow pharmacists to use their skills to more fully support the health care team. Pharmacists are trained to counsel patients, administer vaccines, manage medications and do various point-of-care testing including cholesterol screenings and testing for influenza and streptococcal pharyngitis.

Allowing pharmacists to work at the top of their profession not only helps patients, but also helps physicians and other members of the health care team through a multidisciplinary care model that ensures strong communication and continuity of care. Pharmacists are looking to enhance physician practices, not encroach on them. Such enhancements are especially needed in medically underserved areas, which are designated by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. as having too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty or a high elderly population. And yes, federally-designated medically underserved areas occur in every region of New York.

This pandemic has shed light on not only health disparities, especially in the growing number of medically underserved communities, but also has raised the public’s expectations about the health care services they can get at their local pharmacy. With 93 percent of Americans living within five miles of a community pharmacy, pharmacists are the most accessible and frequently visited members of the health care team. They are highly trusted and trained health care providers who have direct access to and knowledge of their patient populations.

I urge the governor and Legislature to update New York’s antiquated laws and allow pharmacists to do all that they are trained to do to help patients, improve health outcomes, and reduce health care costs.

As president of one of the oldest pharmacy colleges in the country, I can assure you pharmacists are ready, willing and able to do more with their education and training. And as commencement draws near, another class of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences graduates is entering the health care system ready to take on its complex challenges.

[ad_2]

Click For The Original Source

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Leave a Reply