Shane’s Pharmacy in Fort Pierre, SD, recently implemented in-pharmacy rapid strep and influenza testing allowing patients to receive results and necessary medications at one location within minutes.
“Pharmacy point-of-care testing like this is less expensive, faster, convenient, and easily accessible, which improves the patients’ overall pharmacy experience,” explained pharmacy owner Shane Clarambeau. “We are able to meet patient needs by focusing on what matters most: providing effective, efficient, and quality patient care.”
After seeing the program at a pharmacy convention, Clarambeau purchased the supplies and joined his staff pharmacists in the training to become proficient at performing the tests. Providing enough training to feel comfortable with the testing process and results took time, but ultimately led to expanded care services and improved health at the patient and population level.
“I remember thinking how great this would have been when my kids lived at home. The convenience of on-site testing at the pharmacy compared to trying to schedule an appointment and spend half a day at the clinic is awesome,” reflected Clarambeau.
Appropriate use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infection goes hand-in-hand with preventing the spread. Shane’s Pharmacy is well-aware of the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and the serious threat they represent to public health and the economy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that annually at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States alone.
In an effort to address this health concern, the National Strategy for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria was developed. The vision is to work domestically and internationally to prevent, detect, and control illness and death related to infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria by implementing measures to mitigate the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance and ensuring the continued availability of therapeutics for the treatment of bacterial infections.
Point-of-care testing fits into the national strategy. Clarambeau explained, “Removing obstacles to care such as the high expense, difficulty making an appointment and time commitment will impact the health of the community as more people are treated quickly and appropriately. By preventing the spread of bacterial infection, we can improve the lives and health of our community members.”
The antibiotic stewardship initiative through Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN) also supports the national strategy by providing outreach, education and technical assistance to practitioners, healthcare systems, consumers and pharmacies, including Shane’s Pharmacy.