APhM: 20 questions to start conversations with patients

Build relationships to improve medication adherence

Pharmacists know they’re the most accessible health care provider. But how much do patients know about pharmacists and the patient care services they provide?

In celebrating this year’s American Pharmacists Month (APhM), pharmacists are encouraged to reach out to their patients. First, open the lines of communication through conversations around making sure the patient understands the medication. Once relationships with patients are built, medication adherence is more likely.

This is all in keeping with the APhM slogan “Know Your Pharmacist—Know Your Medicine,” which recognizes that patients can better know their medications when they get to know their pharmacist.

Here are some questions to get conversations started:

1.    What medication were you prescribed, and what does it look like?

2.     What is this medication for?

3.     How and when should you take this medication?

4      For how long should you take this medication?

5      Does taking this medication mean to stop taking an older medication?

6.     What will happen if you don’t take this medication as prescribed?

7.     When will the medication start working?

8.     What adverse effects are possible?

9.     What are the medication’s benefits and risks?

10.   What are your allergies, if any?

11.   Does the medication interact with your other medications?

12.   Does the medication interact with food, alcohol, or activities?

13.   Does the medication have pregnancy or breastfeeding implications?

14.   Does the medication require any regular tests such as blood work?

15.   How should you store and dispose of the medication?

16.   What do you do if there’s a problem with this medication?

17.   How will you pay for the medication?

18.   Do you have a complete list of medications and immunizations?

19.   Are your immunizations up to date?

20.   What is your pharmacist’s first name?