Patient Counselling: A Commitment!

Gaurav Arun Mahajan,
Final Year B. Pharm Student 2020-21

In today’s era, everyone is striving hard for well-being. As everybody is knowingly or unknowingly busy with their work, business, etc., so no one has enough time to talk one-to-one. This was possible in past but as the generation changes the whole thing changes drastically!

As we all know patient counselling is a duty of both doctor and pharmacist. But because of evolving in a rushed atmosphere, this has now come to the shoulders of pharmacists as doctors or physicians have to deal with hundreds of patients in a short time. Thus, it is not feasible for the physician to give time to each patient.

Patient counselling is an integral part of the overall duties performed by pharmacists. The pharmacist needs to counsel the patient on the following aspects in a convenient manner:

  • Dosage to be taken.
  • Dosage regimen.
  • How to administer a dose?
  • Route of Administration.
  • Storage conditions of the medicine.
  • Diluted with water; Shake Well Before Use; For External Use Only; Do not use after the expiry date.
  • A pharmacist can make use of pamphlets, charts, or labels for the effective administration of dosage to ease the process.
  • Do inform physician or dentist if any ADR or adverse event occurs during therapy.
  • Do remember to carry the prescription every time for updated medicines.

So all the above things mentioned are necessary for counselling. If a physician or pharmacist fails to inform these important instructions to patients that may provoke the following:

  1. Nonuniformity of dose. ADR or AE might happen.
  2. Failure of therapy. Might lead to life-threatening conditions.

But, nowadays especially due to the ongoing pandemic, the patient or physician can’t meet one-to-one due to restrictions regarding direct contact with each other or else for other reasons it is not possible for both. To overcome all these issues technicians have made online platforms on the internet through portals or software/applications like Practo, Docs & Nulta, etc. Some insights of these online software include the following:

  • Meet the physician directly anytime by simply booking an appointment online.
  • Get consultation within 4-5 minutes.
  • Patient counselling is enhanced.
  • Convenient & feasible way of interacting with doctors (In restricted situations).

So, from a safety and convenience point of view, these are potential & credible resources for online consultation along with patient counselling.

From my personal experience, we sometimes don’t go for such things due to being overeducated or ignore it like small worthless things; in the case of elderly patients, pharmacists should appropriately do counselling to avoid any bias or uncertainty.

To be able to practice this commitment of patient counselling with dedicated diligence, it is the foremost duty of pharmacists to keep up-to-date info & knowledge about a product. And it is not only the pharmacist but the patient must also ask/remind him about any counselling required for the same if a patient requires it!ab