Improved Patient Outcomes with Dietitian and Pharmacist Collaboration
We are thrilled to be collaborating and working with Pharmacist extraordinaire Samantha!
It’s National Pharmacy Week!
Let’s celebrate our pharmacy friends and discuss how collaboration with them has the potential to improve patient outcomes.
Today our focus is diabetes education. There are numerous diabetes medications available to help manage insulin resistance. Some of these medications come with some not so wanted adverse effects – nausea, headache, urinary tract infections, etc. Other medications do have “desirable” side effects such as weight loss and appetite suppression, and several more medications have a mix of unwanted and wanted adverse effects. This makes medication choice and adherence quite difficult. While we agree that medication selection is between you and your physician, we can help make the most of your prescribed medication(s).
What if you could improve your outcomes with some help from a dietitian AND pharmacist?
A recent pilot study in Japan observed the link between pharmacist-dietitian collaborative support and patients’ Type 2 diabetes management outcomes. (A few things to note – this was a very small (pilot) study with only 8 participants, results were collected after 6 months, and two of the measured scores were subjective.) In this study, the dietitian provided nutrition and lifestyle modification counseling while the pharmacist counseled on the prescribed medications. The results showed a significant reduction in A1C and a significant increase in HDL. While more research on pharmacist-dietitian collaboration is needed, we believe more improved patient outcomes will be seen with this teamwork.
Until this collaboration is researched more and implemented in our healthcare sites there are some steps you can take to reach your health goals.
- Be your own health advocate!
- Ask questions! Curious about your medications? Pharmacists are there to help you understand everything about your prescribed medications.
- Ready to take steps to further improve your health? Dietitians love to discuss nutrition and provide personalized nutrition counseling.
- Embrace the process! Change isn’t easy but small lifestyle changes produce big results!
Thrive Nutrition RDN’s Tips:
- Diabetes can be complicated and overwhelming, find a dietitian to help you!
- Keep a food diary and journal your meals and fluids.
- Know your numbers, start tracking your blood sugar and look for patterns.
- Small lifestyle changes can equal big results! Ask your dietitian for recommendations.
Pharmacist Sam’s Tips:
- Be consistent with your medications. Forget a dose? Call your pharmacist to know what to do!
- Fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy so your pharmacist can monitor for drug interactions.
- Some medication adverse effects resolve over time.
- Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
A pilot study of Pharmacist-Dietician Collaborative support and Advice (PDCA) for patients with type 2 diabetes in community pharmacy: A single-arm, pre-post study