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Community pharmacists going digital to improve patient care

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By Gabriel Olawale

Association of  Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN Lagos State, chapter, has admonished pharmacists across the country to embrace information communication technology to improve patient care and safety.  Making this appeal during a free health screening and public lecture in Lagos to commemorate ACPN Day during the 2019 Pharmacists Week,  National Chairman, ACPN, Pharm.

Samuel Adekola said that leveraging technology which is regarded as international best practice will enable them to improve patient outcome. “We need to bear in mind that each of the medications taken in the past and that of present will definitely impact the outcome of patient care. With technology, pharmacists will know their clients very well and also help in promoting proper tracking of medication history. When you talk about medication history, some patients are not medically fit to take certain drugs which can only be revealed through proper documentation.

Corroborating his views, Chairman ACPN Lagos State, Pharm. Olabanji Obideyi said that the era of client presenting with prescription and pharmacist dispense drugs after counsel is gradually becoming obsolete.

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“We need to start looking at a situation whereby prescription is delivered electronically because most time it’s difficult to make meaning out of written prescription by doctors and if such client goes to people who want to sell at all cost, they will give different meaning to the prescription.

Obideyi who spoke on the theme, “Leveraging on Digital Technology for Improved Patient Care and Safety: a Disruptive Innovative Approach” said that the issue of fake drugs can also be address through technology, “There are several technologies that we can use to determine the authenticity of drugs and also track from manufacturer to end user.

In his keynote address,  Dr. Chijoke Onyia, who spoke on the importance of health check, said people, both male and female from 40 years and above should ensure they undergo periodic check and screening of Anthropometrics – weight, height, Body Mass Index, waist circumference, hip ratio, as well as blood pressure diabetes (blood glucose), cholesterol, cancer, dental and eye examination.  He added that the status of various internal organs like liver, kidneys, among others should be checked.

Onyia noted that periodic health check is of many advantages as it helps to find problems early before they start. Other benefits he said include: “Detection of diseases that have no symptoms.”

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