If you have questions or concerns about the medication you’ve been prescribed, one of the University of Findlay pharmacy students may end up providing the answers and solutions via its Telehealth Center.
The center opened in 2016 in an effort to provide a learning laboratory for students on campus, and to provide a place where didactic teachings could be applied directly to patients throughout the nation. The center, which contracts with pharmacies, uses video conferencing, telephone and online interactions to assist patients. Student interns and graduate assistants, working alongside pharmacists, provide one-on-one care that encompasses the assessment and evaluation of a patient’s complete medical status, including medication therapy regimen and disease state management.
By talking directly with patients, caregivers and providers, students gain valuable experience while positively impacting patients’ lives. Students identify possible side-effects or problems with medication regimens, troubleshoot existing problems, recommend different drug regimens if necessary, provide guidelines for preventing future medication issues, and offer tips for taking medication. Students are also able to aid the patients in understanding health care goals and how to achieve them.
Since the program was launched, disease-specific chronic care management and medication reconciliation were added as additional clinical programs.
University of Findlay Telehealth Center supervisors include Director Sothea Phon, Pharm.D. ’11, Assistant Director Kathleen (Brown) Alt, Pharm.D.’ 16, and Megan Conaway, Pharm.D.
Students can apply to work at the Telehealth Center beginning their freshman year. Assignments and responsibilities vary according to year, experience and classwork completed.
“So many patients don’t understand their medication. Sometimes, for one or more of their medications, they don’t know when they’re supposed to take it or what it’s even for,” said Libby Stabler, a fifth-year pharmacy student from Payne, Ohio who recently ranked fourth in the country out of thousands of competitors in a Rite Aid Corporation telehealth competition.
“In reviewing their telehealth cases, we look at each patient in a full health overview, not just their medication,” explained Stephani Busick, a fifth-year pharmacy student from Liberty Center, Ohio. “With that, we can educate them on why it’s important to follow the medication instructions and help them figure out why they may be having side effects.