ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As throughout its history, community pharmacy again will need to adapt to a new environment as the nation embraces health care reform, among other changes, Edith Rosato, senior vice president of pharmacy affairs for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, said in a presentation to the Massachusetts Health Council.
Addressing more than 300 attendees during a meeting of the council in Needham, Mass., Rosato detailed the evolution of community pharmacy and the profession’s ability adjust to the times to meet the public’s health care needs in a presentation titled, "Transforming Pharmacy Practice: Managing a Changing Environment."
"Pharmacy is embarking on revolutionary times," stated Rosato, who is also president of the NACDS Foundation. "It is only fitting that in the nation’s birthplace — Massachusetts — I lay out the importance of revolutionary change in our field.
"Only by recognizing this change can we learn to adapt our protocols and practices to better position pharmacy in medication adherence activities, which improve health outcomes for patients while also reducing overall health care expenditures," she explained. "As the face of neighborhood health care, it is not only our duty to transform to better serve our patients; it is our responsibility."
Rosato described how pharmacy needs to leverage its strengths as "medication experts" to position pharmacists as comprehensive health care coordinators, who place the patient in the center of care and service.
And by combining the convenience and trust of community pharmacy with the effective use of health information technology and management efficiencies, pharmacists could play an even bigger role in proactive, integrated patient-centric health care, she noted. That role includes medication therapy management services, vaccinations, patient counseling, and prevention and wellness programs.
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