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APhA CEO Blog

Spread the word! Your story matters

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December 08, 2015

For a while now, I’ve been stressing the importance of pharmacists sharing their patient care stories to demonstrate how patients can benefit from pharmacist-provided services. These stories are important in any setting, but especially so when conversing with your Members of Congress, or when writing to them using our letter-writing tools at www.pharmacist.com.

Recently, I had a call with Veronica Vernon, PharmD, a new practitioner who will receive the APhA Distinguished New Practitioner Award at APhA2016 in Baltimore. She’s a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis. After I shared the good news about the award, we talked about “telling your story” effectively. I asked her to give me 30 seconds of one of her patient stories.

Below is her very succinct yet compelling story. 

One of the physicians at the clinic where I work referred a patient to me who has diabetes and a hemoglobin A1C of 15.8%. When I first met with this patient, he was overweight and confused about how to manage his diabetes. I diligently worked with the patient both over the phone and through clinic visits to improve his eating habits, physical activity routine, and medication regimen. His A1C decreased to 6% within 5 months and he lost 30 pounds. I was able to discontinue his insulin use, as he was able to manage his diabetes with metformin, diet, and exercise. It has been more than a year since we last met together, but he stopped by my office to let me know that his most recent A1C was 5.9%.

This is exactly the kind of story EVERY pharmacist should have and be prepared to tell. Anyone who practices with patients has them. Your personal experiences, and those of your patients, show how vitally important pharmacist-provided patient care services are to our health care system and the patients we serve. Legislators hear the statistics, but they REMEMBER the stories. What’s yours?

P.S. Congrats to Veronica, and thanks for sharing your story with me!