“Having a pharmacist looking at the big picture of all the prescriptions I have has shown me the concern FirstLight Health System has for each of its patients.”
This compliment from a FirstLight patient highlights what is at the heart of Medication Therapy Management: examining the big picture.
Every patient’s medication experience is unique, and having prescriptions from multiple providers and purchasing medications from various places can complicate it. Patients often wonder if there are potential drug interactions across the medications they take. Some worry how they will afford them, given rising health care and drug costs, high deductible plans, uncertainty about federal health care legislation, and Medicare’s infamous “donut hole.” Others wait to seek medical help until they are seriously ill. Medication Therapy Management, referred to as MTM, is a way for patients to gain control of their health care. Patients with an MTM appointment meet with a pharmacist to review all their medications ensuring they are all necessary, safe, convenient, and effective. MTM pharmacists at FirstLight help identify potential side effects and can determine safer or more cost-effective alternatives. The pharmacists can also help identify options, so patients could potentially decrease the number of medicines they take or how often they need to take them. “Patients appreciate the time we take with them by answering all of their questions and alleviating any concerns they have,” said FirstLight Clinical Pharmacist Kati Dvorak, Pharm D. Everyone is welcome to see a FirstLight’s clinical pharmacist for an MTM appointment. We find those patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease greatly benefit from this service because they see multiple providers and take many different medications to manage their conditions. However, even being on a single high-risk medication can be enough to cause many complications and those patients can take advantage of this program as well.
Patients can call any of the FirstLight clinics or Pine City Community pharmacy and ask to schedule an MTM appointment or they ask their provider for a referral.
- typically last an hour
- focus on identifying and resolving medication-related problems.
“ Our pharmacists help patients by designing daily medication plans, determining what medications to take together and what to separate out to avoid problems and ensure that the drugs are working together.” – Kati Dvorak, Pharm D
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