More and more pharmacies are providing Health Promotion Clinics tailored to their patients’ needs. Through these clinics, pharmacists are able to determine how well medications are working for their patients and are able to design a personalized action plan that will help improve the management of the patient’s health condition(s).
Pharmacy clinics are typically offered several times per year, and most are free of charge to all patients.
- Flu shot clinics
Many health professionals will tell you that the best way to fight the flu is to not get it in the first place. Flu shots are especially important for those with certain heart and lung conditions as well as diabetes and compromised immune systems. Getting the flu shot is one quick and easy way of helping to ensure that you and your family stay healthy this flu season.
- Osteoporosis clinics
These clinics focus on fracture prevention and lifestyle modifications (including diet and supplementation) for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Some clinics may also use a heel ultrasound to assess a patient’s risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture.
- Diabetes clinics
Some pharmacies offer comprehensive diabetes support and education, including HbA1C tests as well as microfilament testing to screen for nerve damage in the feet . Clinics also typically include assessment and action plans for minimizing risk factors for developing diabetes complications. Training on appropriate blood sugar testing may also be offered.
- Nutrition clinics
These clinics provide valuable education to patients regarding lifestyle factors such as healthy eating, exercise, and stress management, with a focus on proper nutrition. Some clinics may use tools such as blood pressure monitoring or hand-held analyzers to determine a patient’s body fat percentage and fat free mass (FFM), which will help them assess and understand levels of risk for a variety of conditions.
- Heart health clinics
These clinics are typically designed to help patients learn more about risk factors for heart disease and what certain lab values mean in relation to cholesterol, blood pressure, pulse (heart rate), blood sugar, and body fat. Some clinics may include personalized assessments with a Framingham Risk Score questionnaire, which identifies a patient’s risk of developing a cardiovascular event in the next 10 years.
- Lung health clinics
In these assessment clinics, a patient’s lung function can be checked with a hand-held spirometry device. Education is also provided about conditions from asthma to chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). These clinics are a good opportunity to get information and resources on maintaining good lung health, smoking cessation, and more.
- Sun/skin cancer awareness clinics
These clinics focus on skin health by educating patients on sun avoidance and other skin protection measures. Some clinics may use a UV detection camera to identify sun damage that has already occurred to the skin. Based on these results, an individual risk assessment can be provided, as well as specific information on sunscreens and other useful prevention tips.
Other common clinics that may be offered include: medicine cabinet cleanup; allergies; breast screening education; cold and flu (seasonal); summer health/West Nile Virus (seasonal); colorectal disease education; menopause/hormone replacement; and more.
To find out more about clinics taking place at your local pharmacy, talk to your pharmacist or visit the pharmacy’s website.