Pharmacist Kristen has a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan. Her experience as a clinical pharmacist, spin instructor, and meditation teacher make her a well-rounded health and wellness expert. As Catalyst's Director of Clinical Outcomes, she leads patient engagement initiatives and works with community pharmacists to get meaningful results. For a patient or a population, improving health outcomes is her jam!
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly pushed our society to its limits in almost every way. With the healthcare industry rapidly changing and evolving, innovation has been a key component in keeping our patients safe. Not only has technology allowed us to connect with co-workers and loved ones, it’s allowed patients to connect with physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes. As we find ourselves in the highly anticipated “next wave” I am reminded of how far we have come, and conscious of how far we have yet to go.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, reducing trips outside the home kept our most vulnerable members of society safe. Whether it was a virtual physician appointment, or a virtual medication review with their pharmacist, telehealth capabilities took a front seat in delivering clinical care in a patient’s home. In addition to offering telehealth, Catalyst is displaying two COVID-19 screening questions on spencer devices, allowing pharmacists to follow up and provide resources to patients who indicated they might be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In many cases, the symptoms were a result of another medical condition, which pharmacists then offered additional counseling or suggested changes in therapy to the patient’s physician. Connected care at home continues to be at the forefront of our minds as we constantly adapt to the everchanging needs of healthcare.
Although we are already starting to see the impacts of the pandemic, I know its lasting effects will continue to be seen for years to come. For example, mental health impacts are already evident in people of all ages. When our minds live in a constant state of “fight or flight”, it can be hard to manage our mental health, stay calm and remain focused. Through spencer, we plan to utilize the same technology to ask patients how COVID-19 has affected their mental health, which will once again allow pharmacists to gain better insight into their patient’s overall health. We may have a long road ahead with unforeseen challenges, but we continue to change and grow as an industry to put the well-being of our patients first.