05/21/2019

Why you see a clinical pharmacist at your primary care office

Pictured above: (L-R) Beth Clements, Allison Presnell, Ashley Woodhouse, Chelsea Keedy and Alix Schnibben

Amongst the physicians, nurses and other staff members in your primary care office, you may notice a pharmacist. But do you know why she’s there?

Clinical Pharmacy Specialists for St. Joseph’s/Candler are board-certified, residency-trained experts in promoting medication effectiveness and safety, explains Ashley Woodhouse, PharmD, BCACP, CACP, CDTM, Manager for St. Joseph’s/Candler Center for Medication Management.

Ashley Woodhouse
Ashley Woodhouse, PharmD, BCACP, CACP, CDTM, Manager for St. Joseph’s/Candler Center for Medication Management

Pharmacists help incorporate professional guideline recommendations for medication use into the patient’s treatment plan and align the goals of therapy with other physicians on the patient’s care team, and oftentimes, the patient’s third-party insurance payers.

“Clinical pharmacists are an integral part of your care team and represent what is fast becoming a standard of care nationally in outpatient care,” Woodhouse says.

St. Joseph’s/Candler already has a robust pharmacy department and residency program providing services for:

  • Internal medicine
  • Critical care
  • Infectious disease
  • Emergency medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Nutrition
  • Anticoagulation
  • Administration

Related Article: Taking blood thinners? Healthcare professionals can help monitor usage.

“This expansion of pharmacy services to outpatient care further increases patient access to pharmacists and healthcare delivery,” Woodhouse adds.

Currently, there are four clinical pharmacists that work in some of our primary care offices: Allison Presnell (Islands), Alix Schnibben (Pooler), Beth Clements (Bluffton) and Chelsea Keedy (Eisenhower). One of their responsibilities with primary care patients is performing annual wellness screenings.

“As members of your care team, pharmacists conduct annual wellness screenings, an initiative to promote evidence- based preventative measures that prevent patient sickness and death,” Woodhouse says.

Related Article: Are you seeing a healthcare provider annually?

Dr. Stephen Goldner is a primary care physician with St. Joseph’s/Candler Primary Care located in Bluffton. He works closely with the clinical pharmacist there, Beth Clements, PharmD, BCACP.

“With Beth’s expertise as a pharmacist, she is able to review patient medication lists and can give expert pharmaceutical advice regarding these medications. This leaves patients feeling comfortable with this extra level of care,” Dr. Goldner says. “Patients state that they don’t feel rushed and are very pleased by the encounter. They feel that their time is well spent and look forward to next year’s encounter.”

Clinical pharmacists often work hand-in-hand with primary care physicians to institute a new treatment regimen, Dr. Goldner says. Clinical pharmacists are able to review a patient’s medication list and give expert advice regarding medications, possible dosage adjustments or identify potential drug interactions.

Additionally, they do more than medication management by reviewing and updating immunization records, reviewing family and social history and screen for depression, dementia, substance abuse and patient safety.

“The clinical pharmacist allows us to have another set of eyes reviewing the patient’s chart from a different perspective,” adds Dr. Charles Sevastos, who also is a primary care physician with St. Joseph’s/Candler Primary Care located in Bluffton. “An expert in drug interactions is a benefit not only to our practice but to our patients.”

For more information about clinical pharmacists, call our Center for Medication Management Savannah office at 912-819-8407.

If you need to schedule your annual wellness visit, visit our Physician Network website to find a primary care office near you. 

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000