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Hands-on Practice

Strategies to Improve Communication Between Pharmacy Staff and Patients

These handouts were developed for use in the hands-on practice section of Strategies to Improve Communication Between Pharmacy Staff and Patients: A Training Program for Pharmacy Staff.

Pharmacy staff who regularly provide patients with health information will find the handouts to be helpful companion materials for practicing the communications techniques presented in the training curriculum.

Pharmacist Role

Instructions

We are doing a hands-on activity where you will be split into groups of three people. In this activity, one of you will assume the role of the pharmacist, one of you will be the patient, and the third person will observe the pharmacist/patient interaction.

Role Is the Pharmacist

Your patient, Ms. Walker, is a 69-year-old black female with:

  • hypertension,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • hyperlipidemia, and
  • acid reflux.

Last week at her doctor visit, her Lisinopril dose was increased from 10 mg to 20 mg.

Your job is to:

  • Review Ms. Walker's medicines with her.
  • Be sure that Ms. Walker knows that her dose of Lisinopril has been increased.
  • Be sure to use clear and simple language, ask open-ended questions, and use the teach-back mechanism.

Time

You have 3-5 minutes for counseling Ms. Walker.

Patient Role

Instructions

We are doing a hands-on activity where you will be split into groups of three people. In this activity, one of you will assume the role of the pharmacist, one of you will be the patient, and the third person will observe the pharmacist/patient interaction.

Role Is the Patient

Your name is Ms. Walker - a 69-year old black female with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heartburn.

You went through the 4th grade in school.

You went to the medical clinic last week. During your visit, your doctor changed your dose of Lisinopril from 10 mg to 20 mg.

Questions You May Have About Your Medicines

Do I have to take more pills? Will this cost me more? You are confused about your change in dose.

Time

You have 3-5 minutes to talk with your pharmacist.

Observer Role

Instructions

We are doing a hands-on activity where you will be split into groups of three people. In this activity, one of you will assume the role of the pharmacist, one of you will be the patient, and the third person will observe the pharmacist/patient interaction.

Role Is the Observer

Time

This interaction will take 3-5 minutes.

Patient Background Information

The patient's name is Ms. Walker, a 69-year old black female with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heartburn. She went to the medical (outpatient) clinic last week and her doctor increased her dose of Lisinopril from 10 mg to 20 mg.

The pharmacist has been asked to:

  • Review Ms. Walker's medicines with her.
  • Be sure that Ms. Walker knows that her dose of Lisinopril has been increased.
  • Be sure to use clear and simple language, ask open-ended questions, and use the teach-back mechanism.

Task

In your role as the observer, we want you to pay close attention to whether or not the pharmacist utilizes the clear health communication techniques we just discussed.

Overall, how would you rate the pharmacist's clear health communication skills in the following areas?

 ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
Using simple, clear, non-medical language._______________
Describing the purpose of the medicine_______________
Ensuring patient understanding of dosing schedule_______________
Repeating key information more than one time_______________
Asking the patient to re-cap what was said using “Teach Back”_______________
Page last reviewed October 2007
Internet Citation: Hands-on Practice: Strategies to Improve Communication Between Pharmacy Staff and Patients. October 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/pharmhealthlit/pharmlit/practice.html