Community Pharmacy: Your Neighborhood Mini-Clinic

Scheduling a doctor’s appointment is not as easy as it used to be. That’s just a fact. When taking into account the shrinking number of physicians in the United States combined with all of the red tape insurance companies inserted into the process, seeing the doctor can take weeks, if not months. And that can be annoying, especially when you just need a quick prescription, diagnosis, or both!

But good news – a much faster and much more convenient way to receive non-critical care is on the horizon. Visit your community pharmacist. Pharmacists in most states have already been granted the authority to conduct Point-of-Care testing right in the pharmacy. This is a major development in how Americans receive care, because now patients can get tested, and in some cases, even prescribed and dispensed medication for non-critical conditions all in one place!

HOW POINT-OF-CARE TESTING WORKS

As the community’s most accessible caregiver, local pharmacists are well-equipped to provide patient care. And now thanks to Point-of-Care testing, pharmacists can test patients for Strep throat, the flu, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the pharmacy. Then, pending a positive test result, the pharmacist can dispense the appropriate antibiotic or antiviral therapy to the patient right on the spot. With Point-of-Care testing, there is no more hassle scheduling a visit with the doctor, there is no more waiting on a call to get results, and there is no more miscommunication between multiple providers of the care team. Point-of-Care testing streamlines and revolutionizes the entire care process by providing patients with a quick, convenient and immediate diagnosis and remedy for certain conditions.

As pharmacies across the country continue to transition into mini-clinics, Point-of-Care testing will only become increasingly prevalent. It is also important to note that many more states are expected to receive Point-of-Care testing authority in the coming months, which will only help make it a common staple of everyday patient care.

Curious if your community pharmacy offers Point-of-Care testing and the associated conditions? Just ask them! Learn what else pharmacists in your area can do to help keep you healthy. Check out our directory to view which services are offered at your local pharmacy.



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