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Health awareness days, weeks, and months are vital for health culture and education. They give people with certain health conditions the chance to unite for a common cause and promote education, support, and even fundraising. Well-known awareness campaigns include National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) and American Heart Month (February), as well as lesser-known campaigns like Hand Hygiene Day (May 5) and World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) that are observed throughout the year.
These occasions present year-round opportunities for community pharmacists to start conversations with their patients about the conditions they currently receive treatment for, or potential diseases they should be screened for. Of course, not all patients need to be informed of each and every disease, and that is where the challenge lies — how do pharmacies sift through all their records to isolate specific categories of information?
PioneerRx Pharmacy Software users are able to generate reports from Categories, a tool that groups data based on specific criteria. While users can create Manual Categories to add qualifying records one at a time, an Auto-Category automatically applies the criteria to existing files based on specific data.
PioneerRx pharmacies may create as many Categories as needed, and the opportunities are nearly limitless. Auto-Categories are the streamlined method for finding specific patients who may benefit from additional care and education. The month of June offers a wide range of health awareness opportunities for pharmacists to discuss with patients. Listed below are three June awareness occasions and how PioneerRx’s Auto-Categories come into play.
Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, and it is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Although there is no cure, cholinesterase inhibitors such as (Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne) can treat memory loss, and memantine (Namenda) addresses the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s. Create an Auto-Category that finds all patients who take these drugs. Then, pharmacies can offer additional care services to Alzheimer’s patients, such as checking their adherence numbers, sending them educational materials, and making sure their caregivers have all the resources they need. Also, an Auto-Category based on age can find patients over the age of 65. From there, software users can create an alert that prompts them to ask those patients if they have had their annual wellness visit.
Sickle Cell Disease affects around 100,000 people in the United States, and studies suggest there are less available resources for those with SCD than other genetic disorders. Similarly to Alzheimer’s patients, an Auto-Category for the drug Hydroxyurea (Droxa, Hydrea) can be created to find any patients receiving treatment for sickle cell anemia, then assign Alerts to them. These Alerts prompt PioneerRx users to start a conversation with SCD patients to go over lifestyle changes such as increased hydration, incorporating folic acid in their diet, and avoiding iron supplements.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men, and 1 out of 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Men’s Health Month encourages education and awareness of diseases and conditions that typically befall men. PioneerRx users can create an Auto-Category to find all male patients over a predetermined age (depending on which screenings the pharmacy wants to focus on). Then, they can create a custom Rx Edit that prompts a conversation with the patient about a colonoscopy, prostate exam, electrocardiogram, or other examination. Or, the pharmacy can plan a Men’s Health Fair and use the same category to find patients to invite.
Community pharmacists already have strong relationships with their patients. Taking the time to find health awareness campaigns and supporting those who have these conditions is another way to care for patients that will be noticed and appreciated. Using data and software features wisely can lead to healthy conversations that will promote patient health and reinforce their trust in their pharmacy.