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Patient pharmacotherapy checklist supports medication counselling at different stages of treatment

14.3.2024 | Published in English on 14.3.2024 at 10.27

The patient pharmacotherapy checklist is a summary of the key points of a person’s pharmacotherapy at different stages of treatment. The purpose of the checklist is to ensure that objectives are achieved with appropriate medication counselling. The checklist can be used by healthcare professionals and patients alike. 

Medical counselling supports achieving the objectives of pharmacotherapy

Medicine users get information about their medicines from many sources. For information to optimally support successful treatment, it has to be sufficient, self-contained, comprehensible and timely.

Pharmacotherapy consists of several stages where the need for information often varies and the sources of information change. Whether starting, monitoring or ending a treatment, the medicine user needs to get enough information to support successful treatment. 

- Successful treatment hinges on the purpose or objective of the treatment being understandable, the use of medicines being integrated into everyday routines, and knowing how to act safely in problem situations. The patient pharmacotherapy checklist helps health care professionals and patients to ensure that essential medication counselling is available, says Raimo Ojala.

Checklist based on multiprofessional network cooperation

A working group of the National Medicines Information Network has been working on a description of an effective and functional medicines information chain. Clinical pharmacy students at the University of Eastern Finland also participated in drawing up the description by describing the counselling chain for a few patient groups. 

The working group made an active effort to include elements in the description that would help support medicine users, or rather things that medicine users could independently rely on in their personal pharmacotherapy. In the end, the group made the decision not to create a “process chart”, concluding that a checklist with questions is a more appropriate way of influencing the success of a patient’s pharmacotherapy than a chart with various professional roles and sources of information. 

Another observation was that discussion seemed to mainly revolve around pharmacotherapy as a whole instead of the use of a single medicine. The end result was the patient pharmacotherapy checklist, with separate sections targeted at both health care professionals and patients. 

Learn more on the Fimea website. The checklist is available in Finnish, and a Swedish version will also be prepared and published later.  

Materials in the Medicines Information Network (in Finnish)

National Medicines Day (in Finnish)

Ask more

  • Raimo Ojala, Hospital pharmacist (M.Sc.Pharm.), tel. +358 44 717 9230, email address: [email protected]

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