Welcome to this week’s healthcare Knowledge Knugget! As a part of “The Executive Innovation Show” podcast, we’re bringing you the hot topics, questions we receive each week and game-changing ideas, best practices and tips. Today’s topic comes from Dr. Richard Harris.
Today he is going to talk about how you can extend telepharmacy into the home, the future role of the pharmacist and improving prescription adherence. We will also hear from Dr. Harris about what other roles the pharmacist can play using telepharmacy to help with disease management education.
Can pharmacists help and are they skilled to help with diet and nutrition, especially with diabetes and renal patients? Dr. Harris gives us a perspective from both the physician and the pharmacist standpoint.
Lastly, we’ll be talking about genetics testing. Is telegenetics best staffed by physicians or by pharmacists?
Dr. Richard Harris is the Founder of Great Health and Wellness, a personalized medicine company in Houston, Texas. He is both a physician and a pharmacist. In today’s Knowledge Knugget, he gives us three for three, three subjects and three points about each subject.
What role can pharmacists play in patients’ supplements and diet?
Dr. Harris believes that pharmacists can play an extremely large role in this area and that will allow them to practice at the top of their license. They can make supplement recommendations for certain disease states. They can also check for interactions with medications.
The second point is huge because supplements do have a role, but they can't interact with certain medications. And so the pharmacists are uniquely qualified to make these checks for interactions with medications and they can also make recommendations for nutrition plans based upon certain conditions.
Certain medical conditions respond a little bit better to certain nutrition plans. And this is an area where the pharmacist can intervene and make direct recommendations to patients.
How can pharmacists extend the services to the home with telepharmacy?
A big way the pharmacist can extend services to home with telepharmacy is adherence to medications and side effects. We know that in the real world there's about a 50 to 60% medication adherence rate, but we estimate that in order to be successful, therapy needs to be around 80% adherent. So pharmacists, by doing checkups in the home through telepharmacy could ensure adherence rates and better optimization and outcomes to therapy.
They can also reinforce disease education and treatment plans. You know, a lot of times people don't know what they're on or why they're taking it. Even so, pharmacists could reinforce education, reinforce why a person is taking medication.
Pharmacists can also do health coaching, where they're walking people through other things associated with that disease state and they can also provide direct patient care through telepharmacy.
This could be something as simple as a triage function, whether they need to be seen by a provider or go to the emergency room or something like that. Or again, letting pharmacists practice at the top of their license. Treating things like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, uncomplicated diabetes, until you're offloading some pressure on primary care providers in the clinic by having pharmacists do this where people are most comfortable at the home.
Whose role is it to help patients better understand genetic testing and patient outcomes?
As an internal medicine physician, a lot of Dr. Harris’ colleagues are not very interested in this subject at all, which he feels is a shame because genetic testing, a new neutral genomic testing can really be a game-changer for someone's chronic conditions or for preventative states. He thinks the pharmacist can take a very proactive role in this area to offer these services in the clinic and be taught how to provide high-quality information about Nutrigenomix in genetic testing. And then at the same time recommend high-quality GMP supplements.
He also states that pharmacists have a better understanding of general physiology because he has gone through both trainings as a pharmacist and a physician. He believes he got more physiology training in pharmacy school that I did in medical school. And of course, having access to those high-quality supplements, those GMP supplements, supplements that we know we can trust for potency and accuracy.
That has been today's Knowledge Knugget with Dr. Richard Harris. I hope you found the information informative and helpful. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter or his podcast, The Strive For Great Health.
That's today's healthcare Knowledge Knugget, part of The Executive Innovation Show. Feel free to submit questions or be featured on the Knowledge Knugget. Subscribe to our YouTube, Vimeo, and the podcast channels to get your Knowledge Knugget on Thursdays.
Download our playbook where we define "What is Telehealth?". We go over speciality areas such as telepharmacy and telegenetics. This playbook is packed with useful information for you to consume. Get it here.