Heart disease is the leading cause of death among U.S. men and women, accounting for an estimated one of every four deaths each year.
And with February designated as "American Heart Month," pharmacists can play an important role in educating patients about heart disease. This includes steps patients can take to control their blood pressure and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.
As findings from a 2021 Cleveland Clinic survey reveal, educating patients on this critical topic may be an uphill battle. Among the survey's findings:
Pharmacists clearly have their work cut out for them. But fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has prepared a "toolkit" that pharmacists can use to educate patients. The toolkit includes handouts that can be printed and shared, sample social media posts, signage, and fact sheets. These materials are available from the CDC and are targeted at all professionals who work with patients or individuals with hypertension.
Messages featured in the CDC's social media graphics include:
PrimeRx™ pharmacies can spread the word to patients by taking advantage of the system's communication capabilities. PrimeRx™ allows pharmacists to select patients with hypertension or other heart-related factors for targeted emails/texts/phone calls. In addition, pharmacists have the option to send blast communications to all patients, or personal messages to individual patients. With PrimeRx™, pharmacies have an easy, seamless way to connect with patients with critical heart-health messages.
While Americans might associate February with the shiny red hearts linked to Valentine's Day, nothing really says "I Care" as much as information for improving heart health.