by KYW’s medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough
More and more pharmacies are tied in to computers, and as doctors’ practices around the country become computerized there will be a greater check-and-balance system — with pharmacists playing a key role.
That is a good thing. A good pharmacist is invaluable because he or she can talk to patients as they are starting medications and can focus on side-effects and treatments.
Pharmacists assisted by computers can help doctors avoid prescribing risky medications. This is particularly important for older patients. Having a computer system that alerts a pharmacist when a high-risk medication is prescribed for an older adult, puts the pharmacist in a better position to say, “Is this really what you want to give to the patient?”
There is also the added benefit of checking for multiple prescriptions, or prescriptions that interact and can hurt the patient.