The pharmaceutical care plan is a written, individualized, comprehensive
medication therapy plan based on clearly defined therapeutic goals.
The pharmaceutical care plan, which is available to all pharmacists
caring for a patient, is updated with each major change in patient
status. It is important that the physician be informed about the care
plan to ensure common goals. Patients should also be informed about
the general content of the care plan as means of gaining their agreement
regarding drug therapy.
Create patient database
The first step in the care planning process is the creation of a comprehensive
patient database, which includes at minimum, the following information:
- Patient demographics
- Diagnoses and past medical history
- Present medications and medication history
- Medication allergies/intolerances
- Smoking/alcohol/caffeine/drug use history
- Abnormal laboratory and physical exam results
- Renal and liver function
Assess drug-related problems
Following the creation of a comprehensive patient database, the pharmacist should evaluate the patient's drug therapy:
- Assess the patient for drug-related problems.
- Determine whether drug-related problems are being treated.
- Determine whether current drug therapy is appropriate.
- Determine whether additional drug therapy is needed.
- Determine if any of the drug-related problems may have been caused by medication.
An understanding of the types of drug-related problems that may occur facilitates the evaluation process. Most drug-related problems are the result of:
- Not receiving an indicated drug
- Receiving the wrong drug
- Receiving too little of the drug
- Receiving too much of the drug
- Experiencing an adverse drug reaction
- Experiencing a drug interaction
- Not receiving the prescribed drug
- Receiving a drug for which there is no valid medical indication
Establish therapeutic goals
Next, therapeutic goals must be established for each drug-related problem so that the pharmaceutical care planning process can be effective. Therapeutic goals should be definite, realistic and, if possible, measurable. Most therapeutic goals relate to:
- Approach normal physiology (i.e., normalize blood pressure).
- Slow progression of disease (i.e., slow progression of cancer).
- Alleviate symptoms (i.e., optimize pain control).
- Prevent adverse effects.
- Control medication costs.
- Educate the patient about his or her medication.
Specify monitoring parameters
Finally, monitoring parameters must be specified so that the patient's progress can be followed. Monitoring parameters must also include potential adverse effects. Determine desired end points for each parameter and the frequency of monitoring.
Document patient's progress
The pharmacist evaluates and documents the patient's progress in achieving the desired therapeutic goals and avoidance of potential adverse effects. The pharmaceutical care plan is updated with each major change in patient status.
Care plan summary
In summary, the general steps involved in creating a pharmaceutical care plan are:
- Create comprehensive patient database.
- Assess for actual and potential drug-related problems.
- Establish therapeutic goals.
- Specify monitoring parameters with end points and frequency.
- Document the patient's progress towards therapeutic goals.
The care plan function in Kinetics© is basically just a skeleton that you can expand on because plans
will differ depending on the practice setting in which the program is being used. Acute care, home care and
long term care all have different monitoring parameters and schedules.
The default care plan for a drug can be changed on the Edit drug model function which is accessed via the drop down
menu tree or by the keyboard shortcut Ctl+E. The care plan field is free form text entry, you can enter anything you like in this field.
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