Learning from abroad: Italy
Bone density measured directly in pharmacy
In-pharmacy bone density measurement in Italy. As part of a private service, an operator measures the patient's bone density in a pharmacy using a dedicated instrument. The Osteoporosis screening is a service that measures bone mineral density for the prevention of osteoporosis and is provided by a trained pharmacy operative. The measurement can be shared with medical doctors to diagnose osteoporosis or to evaluate any change in the patient's bone density. The service is offered for one day at a time in a pharmacy and the pharmacist can hire the device several times a year.
Much of the older population is affected by the risk of fractures due to a number of factors, such as ageing, hormonal changes, malnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. Evidence of osteoporosis increases with a loss of bone mass, which significantly occurs in women in the early years after the menopause. Early diagnosis is therefore imperative. This service is now available directly in Italian Alphega pharmacies.
This is a great example of the future role of the pharmacist and the range of his services in customer care.
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