Consultant pharmacists work primarily for nursing homes to review drug regimens given to nursing home residents under federal law. They do not usually dispense medication, but do provide expert advice to individuals or entire institutions, such as hospitals, and also assist with med pass audits, nursing unit inspections, and ensuring that their employer complies with all relevant laws and regulations.
Consultant pharmacists must have clinical knowledge and relevant prior experience, and a bachelor's degree is required by some employers while knowledge or certification in gerontology is highly beneficial. Consultant pharmacists must review patients' personal medical records, the medications they are taking, recent laboratory reports, and medical progress reports, and may also determine when medications are no longer necessary for particular patients. They may also review dosages when adjustments are necessary and work closely with patients' physicians and facility management. They may also recommend medications that are more easily administered or can be taken more conveniently in terms of dosing schedules.
Because consultant pharmacists usually work for more than one nursing facility, they should be willing to travel and keep their skills up-to-date by reading relevant professional journals and attending conferences and/or ongoing education.
Consultant Pharmacist Tasks
Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
Dispense and review prescriptions to ensure accuracy, and compliance with professional, state and federal regulatory requirements.
May collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review and evaluate patient effectiveness.
Educate patient on medication use, storage and side effects.
Solicit information from patients regarding past and current medication to prevent drug interactions.