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Pharmacists seek digital technology to improve patient’s care

PHOTO: Northeastern University

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has called on its members to embrace digital technology in order to improve patients’ care and safety in the country.

The pharmacy body said, while other sectors are embracing the disruptive innovation in Information Technology, it is important that community pharmacists leverage on the positive advantage to ensure patients’ care and safety is improved.

The call was made during the ACPN Day at the 2019 Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Scientific Week, with the theme: “Leveraging on Digital Technology for Improved Patient Care and Safety: A Disruptive Innovative Approach” held at Gabgada Grass root Sport Complex, Lagos.

The Chairman, ACPN, Lagos State, Olabanji Obideyi Benedict stressed that the world is in the era of disruptive innovation, which requires doing new things to get greater results, particularly in healthcare and medicines for patients care.

“These days, virtually everything is going in the way of Information Technology (IT) and because of the need that we service out client very well, we decided that we should take out time to see how we can involve IT methods to ensure that patients are adequately taken care of.

He said with IT, there would be documentation of patients’ medication history, where both prescription and Over-The-Counter drugs can be dispensed adequately without any damage to patients’ health.

Benedict explained that there would also be a link chain between the doctors who prescribe drugs and pharmacists who dispense drug to patients.

“When you have IT in place you can track so many things and you can keep medication profile of the patient overtime and that will help. In the case of any incident, then we can trace back what the person has taken and probably link it with where the problem is. We are thinking of how we can do it as ACPN, so we have a robust electronic system for doing our job,” he said.

Also speaking on the importance of technology in promoting healthcare, especially patients who are at the receiving end, the National Chairman, ACPN, Samuel Adekola stressed that leveraging on technology to improve patients’ health is of international best practice as far as community pharmacist practice is concerned today.

He explained that technology could be used to track medicine right from the manufacturers to the end user, who are the patients, noting that several technology solutions can be used at the community pharmacist level to determine the credibility of any drug and medication.

The ACPN day also saw residents of Gbagada community and its environ undergo free health screening on hepatitis B, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, random blood sugar, Body Mass Index (BMI), neuropathy and other common preventable health conditions.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Chijoke Onyia, who spoke on the importance of health check, said people, both male and female from 40 years and above should ensure they undergo periodic check and screening of Anthropometrics – weight, height, BMI, waist circumference, hip ratio, as well as blood pressure diabetes (blood glucose), cholesterol, cancer, dental and eye examination.

He added that the state of various internal organs like liver, kidneys, among others should be checked as well as conduct chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and echocardiogram (echo).

Onyia noted that periodic health check is of many advantages as it helps to find problems early before they start, that is, when chances for treatment and cure are better, which is in form of primary prevention, as well as identify risk factors for common chronic diseases.

Other benefits he said include: “Detection of disease that has no apparent symptoms, such as secondary prevention, update clinical data when last checked,” he said.

Also speaking, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo, said Nigeria lacks preventive culture, as diseases are addressed as they come, most times when it has reached the advanced stage.

She said the country emphasises on curative services, which has increased a lot of disease deficiency, while she enjoined Nigerians to imbibe the culture of regular health check to prevent mortality.

In this article:
ACPNHIVPSNSamuel Adekola
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