Helping calm a patient’s fears about medication side effects

Bill Smith, a registered pharmacist with Express Scripts® Pharmacy, smiles in his white lab coat.

A pharmacist helped an older patient feel at ease about a new medication she was prescribed.

Bill Smith, a registered pharmacist who has been with Express Scripts® Pharmacy since 2001, received a call from an older patient who was worried about starting a new medication. She was prescribed clopidogrel, a medication that helps prevent blood clots. After reading through the potential side effects, she admitted she was “petrified” to take it because of the risk of internal bleeding.

Smith reassured the patient that the benefits of the medication outweighed the small risk of bleeding. He took the time to go over the signs of bleeding and what actions she should take if necessary.

“It’s all about empowering the patient,” said Smith. “We don’t want to overload them with information, but we want to give them enough to make a good decision.”

Going over her health history and medication goals

The patient mentioned she had stage 3 kidney disease, so Smith checked her medical profile to make sure it was documented appropriately. She also mentioned that she had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which often serves as a warning of a future stroke, and that she was taking a cholesterol medication. Smith added a note to her patient profile about her TIA and discussed cholesterol level goals. He assured her that her cholesterol medication wouldn’t have a negative effect on her kidney function.

The patient was incredibly appreciative of the time Smith took with her.

“Never in my life and I am 90 years old have I talked to someone that gave me so much help and information because he knew I was anxious about this medication,” she said.

Smith is just grateful he’s able to take all the time he needs to help patients feel comfortable.

“I’m not standing in a retail pharmacy with phones ringing and 10 people in line,” he said. “I can really focus on each patient without any distractions.”

Learn more about how our 1,000 pharmacists are supporting patients 24/7.

Posted date: March 01, 2024

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