Patient compliance and blood pressure control on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier: Impact of a pharmacy officer

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The impact of a pharmacy officer on patient compliance and blood pressure control on a deployed nuclear-powered aircraft carrier for a 2-week at-sea period was evaluated. Before any counseling by a pharmacy officer, 43 crew members on chronic medications anonymously completed a compliance questionnaire. The pharmacy officer then counseled these crew members. A follow-up compliance questionnaire was completed 2 weeks later. After counseling, compliance had increased 58% (p < 0.0001) from compliance measured before counseling. The pharmacy officer also initiated therapeutic interventions. Among 26 crew members diagnosed as hypertensive, preintervention blood pressure (BP) measurements were obtained. Ten to 14 days after the initial BP measurement, BP was remeasured. After intervention, 31% (p < 0.02) more crew members were at BP goal compared with before intervention. A pharmacy officer, working closely with a medical officer, improved patient compliance and blood pressure control. One problem identified was that these warships require computer software that can prospectively identify drug-drug interactions.

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Military Medicine