Battling all through the dark times of sickness from minor to severe stages of illnesses. Gone are the days when they were passive recipient care. Pharmacist and other healthcare providers are now expected to engage patients in their own health, care and treatment.

As a patient, you have some basic rights that inform all aspects of your care and interactions with the health care providers. Including; to be treated with dignity and respect and feel confident that your preferences, values and needs have been heard.

Nevertheless in the pharmaceutical world, patients have roles and responsibilities to play to improve their quality of life and these include;

  • Providing bio-data and locator information for follow-up purposes.
  • Communicating the prevailing signs and symptoms to the pharmacist.
  • Becoming knowledgeable about your diagnosis and treatment or management options available.
  • Knowing all your medications, what they are for, the dosage and how to administer them while taking necessary precautions appropriately.
  • Asking questions and write information in a safe place so that you can easily refer back to it. Get clarification from the care pharmacist when you don’t understand.
  • Communicate clearly to the pharmacist about any ongoing or previous medication/supplements prior to the new prescription especially for over the counter medications.
  • Actively participate in decision making about your medication care. It’s important to understand the risks and benefits associated different medications or treatment approaches.
  • Invite a family member or friend to be part of your care experience to assist in advocating for your care needs especially at times when you’re not feeling well.
  • Follow the mutually agreed upon treatment plan and update the pharmacist for any changes in your symptoms or treatment side effects.
  • Fill all prescriptions in a timely manner and adhere to treatment plan.
  • Avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices during treatment i.e. Smoking, taking alcohol or drug abuse.

Ultimately the patient is responsible for their own health. However, a good patient-pharmacist relationship is essential for effective health outcomes. A collaborative care process not only enhances the care plan and improves treatment outcomes but also increases patient safety.

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