ID: 12 y/o GK with increasing frequency of seizures. GK is nonverbal with a relevant medical history of autism spectrum disorder and refractory epilepsy (and has had numerous changes to her antiepileptic therapy over the years).
During my patient interview with her caregiver, it was apparent that the language barrier was proving to be challenging to get an accurate history. With the use of a translator by phone I was able to obtain more data, however certain questions were still not being translated to the intent I had desired, and I was left with more questions despite a patient interview with a translator. I decided to call pharmanet to inquire where the patient regularly fills their medication, I assumed that this pharmacy would be fluent in the caregiver’s language, and I was right (yay)! I was able to ascertain a great deal of information from the community pharmacist about how the patient was taking medication and what issues she’s had with medication administration. When GK was nearing discharge, I called the pharmacy and made them aware of what medications she would be discharged on to ensure that the pharmacy had sufficient stock. Having worked in community pharmacy for several years I remember being very glad for when the hospital would call us prior to discharge so that we could get everything organized, and more importantly ensure if we had any questions or discrepancies we could fix them at that point. I answered some questions for the community pharmacist (what the doses would be, which medications are changing and why).
I wanted to further utilize the community pharmacist’s ability to easily communicate with the patient’s family. So I asked him to help counsel the patient (though we were already doing this in hospital) about the new dose changes, and any special medication administration instructions.
I found this experience rewarding because it allowed me to ensure our intent for the patient would be understood either (or ideally both) at discharge at the hospital and/or when they are received by the community pharmacist!