Increasingly, hospitals are implementing multi-faceted programs to improve medication reconciliation and transitions of care, often involving pharmacists.
To help delineate the optimal role of pharmacists in this context, this qualitative study assessed pharmacists’ views on their roles in hospital-based medication reconciliation and discharge counseling. We also provide pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions.
Eleven study pharmacists at two hospitals who participated in the Pharmacist Intervention for Low Literacy in Cardiovascular Disease (PILL-CVD) study completed semi-structured one-on-one interviews, which were coded systematically in NVivo. Pharmacists provided their perspectives on admission and discharge medication reconciliation, in-hospital patient counseling, provision of simple medication adherence aids (e.g., pill box, illustrated daily medication schedule), and telephone follow-up.
Pharmacists considered medication reconciliation, though time-consuming, to be their most important role in improving care transitions, particularly through detection of errors in the admission medication history that required correction. They also identified patients with poor understanding of their medications, who required additional counseling. Providing adherence aids was felt to be highly valuable for patients with low health literacy, though less useful for patients with adequate health literacy. Pharmacists noted that having trained administrative staff conduct the initial post-discharge follow-up call to screen for issues and triage which patients needed pharmacist follow-up was helpful and an efficient use of resources. Pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions included clear communication among team members, protected time for discharge counseling, patient and family engagement in discharge counseling, and provision of patient education materials.
Pharmacists are well-positioned to participate in hospital-based medication reconciliation, identify patients with poor medication understanding or adherence, and provide tailored patient counseling to improve transitions of care. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in other settings, and to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of different models of pharmacist involvement.
pharmacist; health literacy; care transitions; medication reconciliation; qualitative research
Community pharmacies in Nepal serve both rural and urban populations and are an integral part of the Nepalese healthcare system. These community pharmacies are run by non-pharmacist professionals with orientation training on pharmacology and drug dispensing. Graduate pharmacists’ involvement in community pharmacy will help with patient counselling, dispensing of medication and promotion of safe and appropriate medicine use. Nepal has an organised pharmacovigilance system which incorporates adverse drug reaction (ADRs) from hospitals and tertiary care centres but not from the community. Involvement of pharmacists in community pharmacy will help in ADR reporting and, monitoring at community level and will help in promoting medication safety in the community. This article describes the community pharmacovigilance program in Nepal and the prospects for community pharmacists.
Community Pharmacy; Adverse Drug Reaction; Pharmacist; Nepal
Pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team, especially in minority and urban communities. This study was developed to assess pharmacists' ability and willingness to counsel the public on prostate cancer in the community pharmacy setting. A mail survey was sent to all 192 community pharmacies in Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, Maryland. A total of 90 pharmacists responded to the questionnaire, providing a 46.9% response rate. One third of the pharmacists indicated a willingness to participate in a prostate cancer training program. Perceived benefits and perceived barriers were each measured through five questionnaire items using Likert-style statements with responses ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The most significant predictor of perceived benefits of providing prostate cancer information was gender; male pharmacists perceived greater benefits for providing prostate cancer information than female pharmacists. Similarly, black pharmacists perceived greater benefits of providing prostate cancer information to their patients than non-black pharmacists. Also, pharmacists in stores that offered disease state management programs had a significantly lower perceived benefit of providing prostate cancer information. These findings indicate that gender and race may play a role in health promotion in health disparities. There were no significant barriers to providing prostate cancer information. Thus, many pharmacists are willing to participate in health education on prostate cancer.
In 2007, Alberta became the first Canadian jurisdiction to grant pharmacists a wide range of prescribing privileges. Our objective was to understand what factors influence pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing using a model for the Diffusion of Innovations in healthcare services.
Pharmacists participated in semi-structured telephone interviews to discuss their prescribing practices and explore the facilitators and barriers to implementation. Pharmacists working in community, hospital, PCN, or other settings were selected using a mix of random and purposive sampling. Two investigators independently analyzed each transcript using an Interpretive Description approach to identify themes. Analyses were informed by a model explaining the Diffusion of Innovations in health service organizations.
Thirty-eight participants were interviewed. Prescribing behaviours varied from non-adoption through to product, disease, and patient focused use of prescribing. Pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing was dependent on the innovation itself, adopter, system readiness, and communication and influence. Adopting pharmacists viewed prescribing as a legitimization of previous practice and advantageous to instrumental daily tasks. The complexity of knowledge required for prescribing increased respectively in product, disease and patient focused prescribing scenarios. Individual adopters had higher levels of self-efficacy toward prescribing skills. At a system level, pharmacists who were in practice settings that were patient focused were more likely to adopt advanced prescribing practices, over those in product-focused settings. All pharmacists stated that physician relationships impacted their prescribing behaviours and individual pharmacists’ decisions to apply for independent prescribing privileges.
Diffusion of Innovations theory was helpful in understanding the multifaceted nature of pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing. The characteristics of the prescribing model itself which legitimized prior practices, the model of practice in a pharmacy setting, and relationships with physicians were prominent influences on pharmacists’ prescribing behaviours.
The role of community pharmacists in disease state management has been mooted for some years. Despite a number of trials of disease state management services, there is scant literature into the engagement of, and with, pharmacists in such trials. This paper reports pharmacists’ feedback as providers of a Pharmacy Asthma Management Service (PAMS), a trial coordinated across four academic research centres in Australia in 2009. We also propose recommendations for optimal involvement of pharmacists in academic research.
Feedback about the pharmacists’ experiences was sought via their participation in either a focus group or telephone interview (for those unable to attend their scheduled focus group) at one of three time points. A semi-structured interview guide focused discussion on the pharmacists’ training to provide the asthma service, their interactions with health professionals and patients as per the service protocol, and the future for this type of service. Focus groups were facilitated by two researchers, and the individual interviews were shared between three researchers, with data transcribed verbatim and analysed manually.
Of 93 pharmacists who provided the PAMS, 25 were involved in a focus group and seven via telephone interview. All pharmacists approached agreed to provide feedback. In general, the pharmacists engaged with both the service and research components, and embraced their roles as innovators in the trial of a new service. Some experienced challenges in the recruitment of patients into the service and the amount of research-related documentation, and collaborative patient-centred relationships with GPs require further attention. Specific service components, such as the spirometry, were well received by the pharmacists and their patients. Professional rewards included satisfaction from their enhanced practice, and pharmacists largely envisaged a future for the service.
The PAMS provided pharmacists an opportunity to become involved in an innovative service delivery model, supported by the researchers, yet trained and empowered to implement the clinical service throughout the trial period and beyond. The balance between support and independence appeared crucial in the pharmacists’ engagement with the trial. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, while useful suggestions were identified for future academic trials.
Pharmacy; Asthma; Disease management service; Experiences; Feedback
To design and implement an interactive education program to improve the skill and confidence of community pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical services to people with mental illnesses.
A literature review was conducted and key stakeholders were consulted to design a partnership that involved community pharmacists and consumer educators. The partnership was designed so that all participants shared equal status. This facilitated mutual recognition of each others' skills.
Four 2-hour training sessions were conducted over a 2-week period in March 2005. Seven pharmacists, 5 consumer educators, and 1 caregiver educator participated in the partnership. Pharmacists indicated that their participation caused them to reflect on their own medication counseling techniques. Consumer educators reported that speaking about their experiences aided their recovery.
Developing a better understanding and improved communication between community pharmacists and people with mental illnesses is an important aspect of facilitating a concordant approach to patient counseling. Implementing mental health education programs utilizing consumer educators in pharmacy schools is a promising area for further research.
continuing education; patient counseling; community pharmacy; mental health care
To create a checklist of the tasks that a pharmacist must perform during medication order review in the hospital setting and to evaluate the utility of and pharmacists’ satisfaction with the checklist.
An evidence-based checklist for medication order review was developed, with items related to order urgency, verification of patients’ identity, therapeutic review, and actionable items. Pharmacists were educated about the checklist, and it was made available at 2 community hospitals in an urban setting. Pharmacists completed a nonvalidated satisfaction survey and participated in focus groups or interviews within 3 months after implementation of the checklist. Qualitative descriptive theory was used to identify themes within the data. Near-miss occurrence reports for the 3 months before and after implementation of the checklist were quantified.
Of 16 pharmacists who were involved in the implementation phase, 14 participated in focus groups or an interview, and 11 responded to the survey. All respondents felt that the primary role of the checklist was for training. They felt that the checklist could be useful when reviewing high-alert or unfamiliar medications or therapy for patients with complex medications. The checklist was most helpful when it was used as a reminder, on an as-needed basis. Nine (82%) of the 11 survey respondents indicated that the checklist standardized the process of medication order review, the same number felt that it prevented accidental omission of critical checks, and 8 (73%) felt that it improved patient safety. Education was necessary to reinforce the purpose of the checklist and its self-check nature. There was no difference in the number of near misses in the pharmacy between the 3-month periods before and after implementation of the checklist.
Pharmacists participating in the study felt that a checklist for medication order review had a role in training new pharmacists and standardizing processes.
checklist; pharmacist; medication order review; liste de contrôle; pharmacien; validation des ordonnances de médicaments
Expanded pharmacist prescribing is a new professional practice area for pharmacists. Currently, Australian pharmacists’ prescribing role is limited to over-the-counter medications. This review aims to identify Australian studies involving the area of expanded pharmacist prescribing. Australian studies exploring the issues of pharmacist prescribing were identified and considered in the context of its implementation internationally. Australian studies have mainly focused on the attitudes of community and hospital pharmacists towards such an expansion. Studies evaluating the views of Australian consumers and pharmacy clients were also considered. The available Australian literature indicated support from pharmacists and pharmacy clients for an expanded pharmacist prescribing role, with preference for doctors retaining a primary role in diagnosis. Australian pharmacists and pharmacy client’s views were also in agreement in terms of other key issues surrounding expanded pharmacist prescribing. These included the nature of an expanded prescribing model, the need for additional training for pharmacists and the potential for pharmacy clients gaining improved medication access, which could be achieved within an expanded role that pharmacists could provide. Current evidence from studies conducted in Australia provides valuable insight to relevant policymakers on the issue of pharmacist prescribing in order to move the agenda of pharmacist prescribing forwards.
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
To investigate older patient, physician and pharmacist perspectives about the pharmacists’ role in pharmacist-patient interactions.
Eight focus group discussions.
Senior centers, community pharmacies, primary care physician offices.
Forty-two patients aged 63 and older, 17 primary care physicians, and 13 community pharmacists.
Qualitative analysis of focus group discussions.
Participants in all focus groups indicated that pharmacists are a good resource for basic information about medications. Physicians appreciated pharmacists’ ability to identify drug interactions, yet did not comment on other specific aspects related to patient education and care. Physicians noted that pharmacists often were hindered by time constraints that impede patient counseling. Both patient and pharmacist participants indicated that patients often asked pharmacists to expand upon, reinforce, and explain physician-patient conversations about medications, as well as to evaluate medication appropriateness and physician treatment plans. These groups also noted that patients confided in pharmacists about medication-related problems before contacting physicians. Pharmacists identified several barriers to patient counseling, including lack of knowledge about medication indications and physician treatment plans.
Community-based pharmacists may often be presented with opportunities to address questions that can affect patient medication use. Older patients, physicians and pharmacists all value greater pharmacist participation in patient care. Suboptimal information flow between physicians and pharmacists may hinder pharmacist interactions with patients and detract from patient medication management. Interventions to integrate pharmacists into the patient healthcare team could improve patient medication management.
pharmacist-patient interactions; provider-patient communication; prescription medication; qualitative research methods
To understand the contribution of the Medicines Use Review consultation to counseling practice in community pharmacies.
Qualitative study involving ten weeks of observations in two community pharmacies and interviews with patients and pharmacy staff.
‘Traditional’ counseling on prescription medicines involved the unilateral transfer of information from pharmacist to patient. Over-the-counter discussions were initiated by patients and offered more scope for patient participation. The recently introduced MUR service offers new opportunities for pharmacists’ role development in counseling patients about their medicines use. However, the study findings revealed that MUR consultations were brief encounters dominated by closed questions, enabling quick and easy completion of the MUR form. Interactions resembled counseling when handing out prescription medicines. Patients rarely asked questions and indeterminate issues were often circumvented by the pharmacist when they did. MURs did little to increase patients’ knowledge and rarely affected medicine use, although some felt reassured about their medicines. Pragmatic constraints of workload and pharmacy organisation undermined pharmacists’ capacity to implement the MUR service effectively.
Pharmacists failed to fully realise the opportunity offered by MURs being constrained by situational pressures.
Pharmacist consultation skills need to be reviewed if MURs are to realise their intended aims.
Counseling; Medicines Use Reviews; Patient centred; Patient–pharmacist communication; Pharmacy practice
An increased interest is observed in broadening community pharmacists' role in public health. To date, little information has been gathered in Canada on community pharmacists' perceptions of their role in health promotion and prevention; however, such data are essential to the development of public-health programs in community pharmacy. A cross-sectional study was therefore conducted to explore the perceptions of community pharmacists in urban and semi-urban areas regarding their ideal and actual levels of involvement in providing health-promotion and prevention services and the barriers to such involvement.
Using a five-step modified Dillman's tailored design method, a questionnaire with 28 multiple-choice or open-ended questions (11 pages plus a cover letter) was mailed to a random sample of 1,250 pharmacists out of 1,887 community pharmacists practicing in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and surrounding areas. It included questions on pharmacists' ideal level of involvement in providing health-promotion and preventive services; which services were actually offered in their pharmacy, the employees involved, the frequency, and duration of the services; the barriers to the provision of these services in community pharmacy; their opinion regarding the most appropriate health professionals to provide them; and the characteristics of pharmacists, pharmacies and their clientele.
In all, 571 out of 1,234 (46.3%) eligible community pharmacists completed and returned the questionnaire. Most believed they should be very involved in health promotion and prevention, particularly in smoking cessation (84.3%); screening for hypertension (81.8%), diabetes (76.0%) and dyslipidemia (56.9%); and sexual health (61.7% to 89.1%); however, fewer respondents reported actually being very involved in providing such services (5.7% [lifestyle, including smoking cessation], 44.5%, 34.8%, 6.5% and 19.3%, respectively). The main barriers to the provision of these services in current practice were lack of: time (86.1%), coordination with other health care professionals (61.1%), staff or resources (57.2%), financial compensation (50.8%), and clinical tools (45.5%).
Although community pharmacists think they should play a significant role in health promotion and prevention, they recognize a wide gap between their ideal and actual levels of involvement. The efficient integration of primary-care pharmacists and pharmacies into public health cannot be envisioned without addressing important organizational barriers.
Community pharmacists; Cross-sectional study; Health promotion; Prevention; Public health
The family physician's relationship with the community pharmacist has tended to be biased. The physician sees the pharmacist simply as a dispenser of drugs. Physicians and pharmacists are usually physically separated, lessening their chances of a collaborative working relationship. Family physicians' traditional sources of drug information include journals, colleagues and drug company literature. However, when they have some form of regular interaction with a pharmacist, physicians tend to see the pharmacist as a main source of drug information. The proper use of medication involves three critical relationships: doctor/patient, doctor/pharmacist, and pharmacist/patient. The doctor/pharmacist relationship has several components: individual consultations, regular team meetings, and establishment of a limited formulary for physicians and residents. There is evidence that compliance is improved when the pharmacist is involved in patient education.
Pharmacist; family physician; primary care
Although community pharmacists have become more involved in the care of
asthma patients, several studies have assessed pharmacists’'ability to
illustrate appropriately inhalation technique of different asthma devices.
Many studies addressed inappropriate use of asthma devices by patients and
pharmacists, in addition to its clinical, humanistic and economic
To evaluate community pharmacists' practical knowledge and skills of
demonstrating proper inhalation technique of asthma inhaler devices
available in Sudan.
Three hundred community pharmacies located around the three major hospitals
in the capital city (Khartoum) and four other provinces were approached, and
four asthma devices were assessed: Metered-dose inhaler (MDI) (n=105), MDI
with Spacer (n=83), Turbuhaler (n=61), and Diskus (n=51). Investigator (a
pharmacist) acted as a mystery patient. He selected one device and asked the
serving pharmacist to demonstrate how to use the device. Investigator
completed a checklist of 9 steps of inhaler device use immediately after
leaving the pharmacy. Essential steps derived from published literature were
pre-specified for each device. Five evaluation categories were accordingly
formulated as follows: optimal technique, adequate technique, poor
technique, totally unfamiliar with the device, and does not know.
More than half of the pharmacists approached with metered dose inhaler did
not know how to use optimal technique (ie all steps correct) all through. A
third poorly demonstrated the technique, and only one pharmacist was
categorized as being able to demonstrate an "optimal technique".
The majority of pharmacists approached with spacing chamber and dry powder
inhalers (Turbuhaler and Diskus) either did not know proper technique or
were totally unfamiliar with the devices.
The majority of community pharmacists, who were expected to educate asthma
patients on their dispensed inhalers, lack the basic knowledge of proper use
of commonly dispensed asthma inhaler devices.
Nebulizers and Vaporizers; Asthma; Community Pharmacy Services; Pharmacists; Patient Simulation; Sudan
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the role of community pharmacists in providing advice and treatment for children with diarrhoea; to investigate mothers' responses to diarrhoea in their children. DESIGN--Cross sectional questionnaire study of a random selection of community pharmacists and of mothers attending child health clinics. Pharmacists were interviewed and given a questionnaire and a separate group was visited by a researcher posing as a parent; mothers were interviewed at the clinic. SETTING--Newcastle upon Tyne. SUBJECTS--20 pharmacists were interviewed and visits by a researcher posing as a parent were carried out to 10 different pharmacists; 58 mothers were interviewed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Advice given by pharmacists was contrasted with standard advice on management of diarrhoea in children. RESULTS--Half of the pharmacists interviewed and 70% of pharmacists visited by a researcher posing as a parent recommended inappropriate treatment of childhood diarrhoea (such as antidiarrhoeal drugs and withholding breast milk), and only 30% at interview stated that they would ask for the age of the child. Mothers' knowledge of home treatment was inadequate. All pharmacists in the posed visits recommended a purchased treatment. CONCLUSION--Pharmacists are widely used by parents for consultation for children's ailments but their advice is not always appropriate; hence they should be given more consistent training in recognising and managing clinical problems. Medical advice on management of diarrhoea is also inconsistent and should be modified to conform to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation.
In the recent years, the role of a pharmacist has been significantly changed. Traditionally, in the late 20th century, a pharmacist’s role was considered as merely dispensing medication to patients. This view however, has been significantly altered, and, today, a pharmacist is supposed to provide patients with information regarding the medication they are to take, as well as on different aspects of their disease. Therefore, one can suggest that some other factors have recently come into play in the daily tasks of a pharmacist such as accountability and authority.
The current cross-sectional survey is conducted on a cohort of community pharmacists attending a continuing education program. A questionnaire comprised of 26 Likert-type scale questions was designed to assess pharmacists’ attitude towards professionalism and its subscales which are defined later in detail. A total number of 1000 pharmacists were surveyed and 560 of them filled and returned the questionnaires. On a scale from 1-5 on which 1 was corresponded with strongly agree and 5 with strongly disagree, the total score of pharmacists professionalism was 92.9 ± 10.4 out of 130. As regards the subscales, in the subscale of accountability 46.8% of participants, in the subscale of altruism 90.1% of participants, in the theme of duty 85.7% of participants, and in the subscale of working relationship with physicians 84% of pharmacist achieved more than two third of the total score. Only in term of conflict of interest 67.9% of participants scored less than two third (17–25) of the total score. Women obtained significantly higher scores in altruism (P<0.05). Furthermore, there was a correlation between age and the score of accountability and working relationship with physicians; and, the same was observed in regards with work experience with the score of working relationship with physicians. The employment position affected neither our participants’ response to the whole questionnaire nor any of subscales.
Although the total score for professionalism was not dramatically decreased, the significantly low results are alarming and they should be considered more seriously. In order to enhance the level of pharmacists’ professionalism, especially in some special aspects, it seems necessary to conduct similar surveys on pharmacy students and registered pharmacists with a more comprehensive questionnaire. Overall, it can be concluded that designing a proper teaching course in professionalism for pharmacy students is of paramount importance if we are to promote professionalism in future pharmacists.
Pharmacy professionalism; Altruism; Accountability; Pharmacy ethics
Purpose. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of hospital pharmacists towards drug management and reasons underlying stock-outs of antimalarial drugs in Pakistan. Methods. A qualitative study was designed to explore the perceptions of hospital pharmacists regarding drug management and irrational use of antimalarial drugs in two major cities of Pakistan, namely, Islamabad (national capital) and Rawalpindi (twin city). Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 hospital pharmacists using indepth interview guides at a place and time convenient for the respondents. Interviews, which were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, were evaluated by thematic content analysis and by other authors' analysis. Results. Most of the respondents were of the view that financial constraints, inappropriate drug management, and inadequate funding were the factors contributing toward the problem of antimalarial drug stock-outs in healthcare facilities of Pakistan. The pharmacists anticipated that prescribing by nonproprietary names, training of health professionals, accepted role of hospital pharmacist in drug management, implementation of essential drug list and standard treatment guidelines for malaria in the healthcare system can minimize the problem of drug stock outs in healthcare system of Pakistan. Conclusion. The current study showed that all the respondents in the two cities agreed that hospital pharmacist has failed to play an effective role in efficient management of anti-malarial drugs stock-outs.
The present study was conducted to assess the attitudes and behaviors of practicing community pharmacists towards patient counselling and use of patient information leaflets in the state of Karnataka. Convenient sampling method was adopted to collect the responses with the help of self-completion questionnaires. A total of 258 practicing community pharmacists in the age group of 22–60 y of both gender with practicing experience of 2-30 y participated in the study. Majority of respondents (80%) agreed that, patient counselling is their professional obligation. About 17% of the respondents mentioned that, they try to give basic information regarding drug usage to the patient. The reasons stated by the pharmacists to provide patient counselling were, professional satisfaction (43%), patients go with satisfaction (32%), observed increase in sales (8%), and also improved patient compliance (7.5%). The major barriers for offering patient counselling were mentioned as pharmacists' inadequate knowledge and confidence (78%), doctor dispensing (72%), no professional fee (56%), poor response from patients (82%), inadequate continuous professional development programs (75%). Many respondents agreed that, patient information leaflets certainly help in counselling but available information leaflets are company generated and prescriber focused. Many respondents found the present continuing professional development module was useful and are interested in weekend workshops to update their professional knowledge (83%). Restrictions on doctor dispensing, legalization of patient counselling, regular continuing professional development programs are the factors observed to motivate the pharmacists to offer patient counselling.
Attitudes and behaviors; community pharmacists; patient counseling; patient information leaflets
Despite the high number of injecting drug users (IDUs) in Estonia, little is known about involving pharmacies into human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention activities and potential barriers. Similarly, in other Eastern European countries, there is a need for additional sources for clean syringes besides syringe exchange programmes (SEPs), but data on current practices relating to pharmacists’ role in harm reduction strategies is scant. Involving pharmacies is especially important for several reasons: they have extended hours of operation and convenient locations compared to SEPs, may provide access for IDUs who have avoided SEPs, and are a trusted health resource in the community. We conducted a series of focus groups with pharmacists and IDUs in Tallinn, Estonia, to explore their attitudes toward the role of pharmacists in HIV prevention activities for IDUs. Many, but not all, pharmacists reported a readiness to sell syringes to IDUs to help prevent HIV transmission. However, negative attitudes toward IDUs in general and syringe sales to them specifically were identified as important factors restricting such sales. The idea of free distribution of clean syringes or other injecting equipment and disposal of used syringes in pharmacies elicited strong resistance. IDUs stated that pharmacies were convenient for acquiring syringes due to their extended opening hours and local distribution. IDUs were positive toward pharmacies, although they were aware of stigma from pharmacists and other customers. They also emphasized the need for distilled water and other injection paraphernalia. In conclusion, there are no formal or legislative obstacles for providing HIV prevention services for IDUs at pharmacies. Addressing negative attitudes through educational courses and involving pharmacists willing to be public health educators in high drug use areas would improve access for HIV prevention services for IDUs.
Injecting drug users; Pharmacists; Harm reduction services
A scarcity of human resources for health has been identified as one of the primary constraints to the scale-up of the provision of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART). In South Africa there is a particularly severe lack of pharmacists. The study aims to compare two task-shifting approaches to the dispensing of ART: Indirectly Supervised Pharmacist’s Assistants (ISPA) and Nurse-based pharmaceutical care models against the standard of care which involves a pharmacist dispensing ART.
A cross-sectional mixed methods study design was used. Patient exit interviews, time and motion studies, expert interviews and staff costs were used to conduct a costing from the societal perspective. Six facilities were sampled in the Western Cape province of South Africa, and 230 patient interviews conducted.
The ISPA model was found to be the least costly task-shifting pharmaceutical model. However, patients preferred receiving medication from the nurse. This related to a fear of stigma and being identified by virtue of receiving ART at the pharmacy.
While these models are not mutually exclusive, and a variety of pharmaceutical care models will be necessary for scale up, it is useful to consider the impact of implementing these models on the provider, patient access to treatment and difficulties in implementation.
Task-shifting; Pharmaceutical care models; Skills mix; Anti-retroviral therapy
Objectives— To explore British community pharmacists' views on PAS , including professional responsibility, personal beliefs, changes in law and ethical guidance.
Design— Postal questionnaire
Setting— Great Britain
Subjects— A random sample of 320 registered full-time community pharmacists
Results— The survey yielded a response rate of 56%. The results showed that 70% of pharmacists agreed that it was a patient's right to choose to die, with 57% and 45% agreeing that it was the patient's right to involve his/her doctor in the process and to use prescription medicines, respectively. Forty-nine per cent said that they would knowingly dispense a prescription for use in PAS were it to be legalised and 54% believed it correct to refuse to dispense such a prescription. Although 53% believed it to be their right to know when they were being involved in PAS, 28% did not. Most pharmacists (90%) said that they would wish to see the inclusion of a practice protocol for PAS in the code of ethics of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (CE-RPSGB) in the event of a change in the law on PAS. In addition, 89% would wish to see PAS included in the Conscience Clause of the CE-RPSGB. Males were found to be significantly less likely to favour PAS than females (p<0.05), as were those declaring an ethnic/religious background of consideration when dealing with ethical issues in practice compared with their counterparts (p<0.00005).
Conclusion— Pharmacists view their professional responsibility in PAS to be more obligatory than a physician's, in having to provide the means for PAS. It is worrying that a proportion of the respondents prefer to remain in ignorance of the true purpose of a prescription for PAS; a finding at odds with current developments within the pharmaceutical profession. A practice protocol for PAS and an extension of the conscience clause should be considered in the event of PAS becoming legal. Such measures would allow the efficient provision of the pharmaceutical service whilst at the same respecting the personal beliefs of those who object to cooperating in the ending of a life.
Key Words: Professional ethics • pharmacy ethics • community pharmacy • bioethics • physician-assisted suicide • euthanasia
Today, the use of herbal medicine for primary healthcare has increased considerably. Since local pharmacists graduate with little knowledge on herbal medicine, the majority are ill-equipped to provide pharmaceutical advice.
To develop and evaluate a herbal medicine formulary to aid healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the prescribing, dispensing and counselling responsibilities.
Settings and Design
Methods and Material
Monographs on all herbal substances available locally were compiled into a formulary. The formulary was then distributed to all, 216, local pharmacies. Subsequently, a questionnaire was distributed to 55 pharmacists and 10 general practitioners (GPs).
Statistical analysis used
Descriptive statistical analysis.
A total of 177 herbal monographs have been compiled and 612 herbal products listed. Thirty HCPs participated in the questionnaire. The formulary was found to be useful by all participants with 19 claiming to use it frequently and 7 quite frequently. Participants (n = 30) agree that the information contained within the formulary was found to be useful (26), the formulary helped them learn which HMPs are present in the local market (29), the formulary is user friendly (27), information included is up-to-date and well referenced (29) and that there is the need for a formulary of this kind in Malta (28).
The formulary was found to be a useful tool for HCPs leading to high quality, evidence-based prescribing together with enhanced monitoring and improved patient care.
Formulary; Healthcare; Herbal medicine; Pharmacist; Usefulness
In the last decades, the provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists has developed in OECD countries. These developments involved significant changes in professional practices and organization of primary care. In France, they have recently been encouraged by a new legal framework and favored by an increasing demand for health care (increase in the number of patients with chronic diseases) and reductions in services being offered (reduction in the number of general practitioners and huge regional disparities).
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate final-year pharmacy students' opinions on 1/expanding the scope of pharmacists' practices and 2/the potential barriers for the implementation of pharmaceutical care. We discussed these in the light of the experiences of pharmacists in Quebec, and other countries in Europe (United Kingdom and the Netherlands).
All final-year students in pharmaceutical studies, preparing to become community pharmacists, at the University Paris-Descartes in Paris during 2010 (n = 146) were recruited. All of them were interviewed by means of a questionnaire describing nine "professional" practices by pharmacists, arranged in four dimensions: (1) screening and chronic disease management, (2) medication surveillance, (3) pharmacy-prescribed medication and (4) participation in health care networks. Respondents were asked (1) how positively they view the extension of their current practices, using a 5 point Likert scale and (2) their perception of potential professional, technical, organizational and/or financial obstacles to developing these practices.
143 (97.9%) students completed the questionnaire. Most of practices studied received a greater than 80% approval rating, although only a third of respondents were in favor of the sales of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The most significant perceived barriers were working time, remuneration and organizational problems, specifically the need to create a physical location for consultations to respect patients' privacy within a pharmacy.
Despite remaining barriers to cross, this study showed that future French pharmacists were keen to develop their role in patient care, beyond the traditional role of dispensing. However, the willingness of doctors and patients to consent should be investigated and also rigorous studies to support or refute the positive impact of pharmaceutical care on the quality of care should be carried out.
Pharmacists, with expertise in optimizing drug therapy outcomes, are valuable components of the healthcare team and are becoming increasingly involved in public health efforts. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in diverse community pharmacy settings can implement a variety of asthma interventions when they are brief, supported by appropriate tools, and integrated into the workflow. The Asthma Friendly Pharmacy (AFP) model addresses the challenges of providing patient-focused care in a community pharmacy setting by offering education to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on asthma-related pharmaceutical care services, such as identifying or resolving medication-related problems; educating patients about asthma and medication-related concepts; improving communication and strengthening relationships between pharmacists, patients, and other healthcare providers; and establishing higher expectations for the pharmacist’s role in patient care and public health efforts. This article describes the feasibility of the model in an urban community pharmacy setting and documents the interventions and communication activities promoted through the AFP model.
Asthma; Community pharmacy; Pharmacists; Pharmaceutical care; Collaboration; Communication
Community Pharmacists and General Practitioners (GPs) are increasingly being encouraged to adopt more collaborative approaches to health care delivery as collaboration in primary care has been shown to be effective in improving patient outcomes. However, little is known about pharmacist attitudes towards collaborating with their GP counterparts and variables that influence this interprofessional collaboration. This study aims to develop and validate 1) an instrument to measure pharmacist attitudes towards collaboration with GPs and 2) a model that illustrates how pharmacist attitudes (and other variables) influence collaborative behaviour with GPs.
A questionnaire containing the newly developed “Attitudes Towards Collaboration Instrument for Pharmacists” (ATCI-P) and a previously validated behavioural measure “Frequency of Interprofessional Collaboration Instrument for Pharmacists” (FICI-P) was administered to a sample of 1215 Australian pharmacists. The ATCI-P was developed based on existing literature and qualitative interviews with GPs and community pharmacists. Principal Component Analysis was used to assess the structure of the ATCI-P and the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to assess the internal consistency of the instrument. Structural equation modelling was used to determine how pharmacist attitudes (as measured by the ATCI-P) and other variables, influence collaborative behaviour (as measured by the FICI-P).
Four hundred and ninety-two surveys were completed and returned for a response rate of 40%. Principal Component Analysis revealed the ATCI-P consisted of two factors: ‘interactional determinants’ and ‘practitioner determinants’, both with good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = .90 and .93 respectively). The model demonstrated adequate fit (χ2/df = 1.89, CFI = .955, RMSEA = .062, 90% CI [.049-.074]) and illustrated that ‘interactional determinants’ was the strongest predictor of collaboration and was in turn influenced by ‘practitioner determinants’. The extent of the pharmacist’s contact with physicians during their pre-registration training was also found to be a significant predictor of collaboration (B = .23, SE = .43, p <.001).
The results of the study provide evidence for the validity of the ATCI-P in measuring pharmacist attitudes towards collaboration with GPs and support a model of collaboration, from the pharmacist’s perspective, in which collaborative behaviour is influenced directly by ‘interactional’ and ‘environmental determinants’, and indirectly by ‘practitioner determinants’.
What is the level of knowledge of pharmacists concerning pain management and the use of opioids at the end of life, and how do they cooperate with physicians?
A written questionnaire was sent to a sample of community and hospital pharmacists in the Netherlands. The questionnaire was completed by 182 pharmacists (response rate 45%).
Pharmacists were aware of the most basic knowledge about opioids. Among the respondents, 29% erroneously thought that life-threatening respiratory depression was a danger with pain control, and 38% erroneously believed that opioids were the preferred drug for palliative sedation. One in three responding pharmacists did not think his/her theoretical knowledge was sufficient to provide advice on pain control. Most pharmacists had working agreements with physicians on euthanasia (81%), but fewer had working agreements on palliative sedation (46%) or opioid therapy (25%). Based on the experience of most of responding pharmacists (93%), physicians were open to unsolicited advice on opioid prescriptions. The majority of community pharmacists (94%) checked opioid prescriptions most often only after dispensing, while it was not a common practice among the majority of hospital pharmacists (68%) to check prescriptions at all.
Although the basic knowledge of most pharmacists was adequate, based on the responses to the questionnaire, there seems to be a lack of knowledge in several areas, which may hamper pharmacists in improving the quality of care when giving advice to physicians and preventing or correcting mistakes if necessary. If education is improved, a more active role of the pharmacist may improve the quality of end-of-life pharmacotherapy.
Opioids; Pain management; Pharmacists; Knowledge; Education; Multidisciplinary cooperation