An Interdisciplinary Memory Clinic
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Pharmacists have developed innovative practices in various settings as singular providers or as members of multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary teams. Examples include pharmacists practicing in heart failure, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia clinics. There is a paucity of literature describing pharmacists in interdisciplinary memory clinics and specifically pharmacists practicing in interdisciplinary, primary care-based memory clinics. New practice models should be disseminated to guide others in the development of similar models given the complexity of this population. Patients with dementia are more difficult to manage because of cognitive impairment, behavioral and psychological symptoms, the common presence of multiple comorbidities, and related polypharmacy and caregiver issues. These challenges require expertise in neurodegenerative disorders and geriatrics. The purpose of this article is to describe the role of clinical pharmacists providing care to patients with cognitive complaints in a primary care-based, interdisciplinary memory clinic, with a focus on how the pharmacist practices and is integrated in this collaborative care setting. Patients are assessed using an interdisciplinary approach, with team consensus for assessment and planning of care. Pharmacists' activities include assessment of (1) appropriateness of medications based on frailty, (2) medications that can impair cognition and/or function, (3) medication adherence and management skills, and (4) vascular risk factor control. Pharmacists provide education regarding medications and diseases, ensure appropriate transitions in care, and conduct home visits. Pharmacist participation in this clinic represents a novel opportunity to advance pharmacy practice in primary care, interdisciplinary models. Work is ongoing to describe outcomes attributable to pharmacist participation in this clinic.
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