Pharmacogenetics Certification for Pharmacists & How It Can Help Improve Patient Care
Pharmacogenetics testing has been a supplemental medical test that has been used for years by consumers for several reasons. Genetic testing is commonly used for people to figure out their genealogy and to figure out their ancestral background, but now it is crossing over to the mainstream of patient care. Pharmacogenetics testing is especially helpful for those who take medications for specific medical conditions. Not only can genetic testing help mitigate adverse reactions to medications, but genetic testing can also allow for a better understanding of how medication implementation can be improved.
Pharmacists can now get certified in pharmacogenetics to enhance patient care. Genetics and medications go hand in hand, from figuring out proper dosage, and what medications will be most effective based on genetics.
Pharmacogenetics Certification: How Does it Work?
The certification process for pharmacists will allow them to interpret genetic testing results and recommend patient-specific pharmacotherapy successfully. Pharmacists have to complete an 8 module course, along with 18.25 hours of ACPE-accredited continuing education units to become certified. Pharmacists also have to learn about the difficulties associated with executing a pharmacogenetics program.
The intensive program puts parameters in place to ensure that pharmacists can recommend the best care to patients that may not be receiving the best, or most appropriate medication therapy. Medication management is a broad term used for ensuring that patients are taking their medications as prescribed, but there may be better options of medications that will work more effectively for some patients depending on their genetic make-up, Pharmacogenetics certifications for pharmacists can change the way medication management is viewed and executed.
Most patients have a primary pharmacy that they use between all of their health care providers. When a doctor shares the results of genetic testing with a pharmacy where there are pharmacogenetics certified pharmacists, patient care is improved. This can also cut down on any miscommunications between doctor and patient, and patient and pharmacy. Knowing that everyone understands the care that patients need when it comes to medication make patients feel safe, and confident in their doctor and pharmacy of choice.
How Does Pharmacogenetics Play Into Patient Care?
Most patients know what medications do, and don’t work for them through a long stage of trial and error. Pharmacogenetics can help to find the correct medications, the first time. Some medications tend to work more effectively in patients with certain genetic make-ups, while some medications have extremely adverse effects depending on the genetic make-up of patients.
Medication regimes are crafted for each person differently, but there are common medications that are prescribed for several maladies that may not be effective for everyone based on their genetic make-up. Pharmacogenomics testing can not only help determine which medications are best for you, but also determine:
The best dose of medication
Serious side effects associated with certain medications
If you share your results with all of your health care providers, they can ensure that you are receiving the best medications for all of your needs based on your genetic make-up. Although there is different testing for different medications, testing can be done with a simple saliva or blood sample and can often be done in your providers’ office. As the field of pharmacogenomics expands, so will universal testing to help further improve the patient experience. While there isn’t tests available currently for many over the counter (OTC) pain relievers like Asprin, but a doctor recommendation can typically point a patient in the right direction based on their health background as to which OTC medications may work the best for them in conjunction with any other medications they are currently taking.
Improving Patient Care
Most patients who are taking medications for certain health problems have gone through the guinea pig phase of trying out medications. Testing different medications with no avail can be extremely disheartening and greatly diminishes patient care. It leaves patients feeling hopeless, and extends the time until they have relief. Pharmacogenetic testing for medication purposes can help cut down that time, and hopefully, avoid the guinea pig phase altogether.
Trial and error, multiple tests, trips, and long waits at the doctor’s office all play into patient care and patient satisfaction. When patients are happy with their providers, they will bring in their families, and it grows the patient database for providers. As a doctor, if you are treating a family, they share genetic material. Many diseases or disorders are hereditary. If a patient has undergone genetic testing and their children have inherited a disorder from them, the chances are that the children may also need the same medications as their parent. Especially in adolescents, medications can be tricky with changing bodies, moods, and dosage, but genetic testing can help to cut down on the guesswork involved with prescribing drugs.
Improving patient care from hospitals, primary care physicians, and specialist is a vital part of patient retention. Alleviating patients of symptoms of their ailments, getting blood pressure, or cholesterol under control, and treating mental illness is life-changing for patients. Pharmacogenetic testing can be the first step in exponentially improving patient care.