When promoting health and wellness, it often helps to use the popularity and power of monthly health awareness campaigns to instigate discussions, and, more importantly, promote mindfulness of public health issues.
In the past, we have encouraged our readers to connect with patients, including using monthly health awareness campaigns, such as October's National Miscarriage Awareness Month and January's Cervical Health Awareness Month, to talk to their patients and their caregivers about particular health matters and methods of prevention.
In this issue of Inside Patient Care, we discuss American Heart Month, with a focus on controlling blood pressure, and ways to promote heart health with your patients. Because high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, healthcare providers may encourage their patients to adopt healthier dietary habits, including consumption of more fruits and vegetables, to control their blood pressure. This month's patient tips include useful ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. In addition, we provide asthma triggers to discuss with your patients with uncontrolled asthma. Take some time to sit down with them to determine what is the cause of their asthma attacks.
In this issue, we also include an interview with Eric Graf about the pharmacies of the future and treasured moments in their practice. "We had a pharmacist in one of our practices that, after the death of the patient, was referenced in the patient's obituary as having been part of the care team that helped this loved one through the final days of their journey," he explained. Pharmacists and primary care providers are in an ideal position to connect with patients and make a difference in their lives.
In another article, Kim Curry, PhD, ARNP, discusses missed opportunities to vaccinate patients, including vaccinating children versus adults. Opportunities missed to vaccinate adults are highlighted, such as lack of patient awareness that immunization is due, vaccine refusal, or vaccines that are not affordable. In addition to patient-related factors, Dr Curry discusses clinician along with healthcare system factors that prevent vaccination in this patient population.
As you read through this issue, think about some missed opportunities with your patients, including patient-, clinician-, and healthcare system–related barriers to patient care.