Dinkins Honored for One-to-One Patient Care
When a customer showed up with fifteen new prescriptions and old medication bottles for his mother, who was too sick to come to the pharmacy, Lisa Dinkins, PharmD, compared the prescriptions with the patient’s old medications to check for problems such as omissions, duplications, and potential drug interactions. She then drew up a new medications list for the patient, clearly marked the old bottles of medicine that were no longer needed, and discussed the new medications at length with the son until he could repeat back to her how he would administer them to his mother while she was ill. He left the pharmacy confident that he could do it correctly.
Cases such as this underscore the reason Dinkins teaches her students about the importance of one-to-one patient counseling and of talking to patients on their level. Dinkins’s efforts on that front, both in the classroom and in her practice, have earned her an award from the Pharmacy Today One to One Patient Counseling Recognition Program, which honors twenty pharmacists and five pharmacy students each year who have been outstanding in one-to-one patient care.
“When pharmacists find ways to talk with patients on their level, patients are empowered and better able to manage their health care,” says Dinkins, a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education. “Their health outcomes are maximized and they are more satisfied with their care when we take the time to listen to their concerns and respond with appropriate empathy and counseling.
“As a pharmacy educator, I teach students to take advantage of every opportunity to educate patients on their medications and health. I apply this philosophy to my practice as well by often initiating conversations with patients at the drive-through window or in the counseling room.”
Dinkins will receive free airfare, hotel accommodations, and registration for the 2010 American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting & Exposition from March 12 to15 in Washington, D.C. She will also be profiled in Pharmacy Today and invited to a reception and dinner on March 13.
Dinkins, a 2006 graduate of the School’s doctor of pharmacy program, has been a faculty member in the School’s Pharmaceutical Care Labs since fall 2007. She also works part-time at Siler City Pharmacy, which specializes in medication therapy management, immunizations, and serving the Hispanic population.
Clinical assistant professor Kelly Scolaro, PharmD, who nominated Dinkins for the award, says Dinkins practices what she teaches.
“She takes great pride in counseling patients and helping them make important medication decisions,” Scolaro says. “There are many examples of how Lisa’s counseling had a positive impact on her patients’ health.”
One of those examples was an instance in which Dinkins helped a patient who had been discharged from the hospital with a new medication regimen after a heart attack.
“The patient was confused about why his medications had changed and didn’t understand exactly what to do,” Scolaro says. “Lisa sat with the patient to explain why his medications changed. She emphasized that his new regimen would help prevent future heart attacks. Lisa also explained to the patient when and how to use his new sublingual nitroglycerin.
“Before leaving the store, the patient said to Lisa that he was glad she talked to him about his medicine because he could go home and feel comfortable about making the changes. He also said that he felt more comfortable about his future doctor visits because he better understood his medications and knew what questions to ask.”