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
Strong working relationships between pharmacists and physicians are needed to optimize patient care. Understanding attitudes and barriers to collaboration between pharmacists and physicians may help with delivery of primary health care services. The objective of this study was to capture the opinions of family physicians and community pharmacists in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) regarding collaborative practice.
Two parallel surveys were offered to all community pharmacists and family physicians in NL. Surveys assessed the following: attitudes and experience with collaborative practice, preferred communication methods, perceived role of pharmacists, areas for more collaboration and barriers to collaborative practice. Results for both groups were analyzed separately, with comparisons between groups to compare responses with similar questions.
Survey response rates were 78.6% and 7.1% for pharmacists and physicians, respectively. Both groups overwhelmingly agreed that collaborative practice could result in improved patient outcomes and agreed that major barriers were lack of time and compensation and the need to deal with multiple pharmacists/physicians. Physicians indicated they would like more collaboration for insurance approvals and patient counselling, while pharmacists want to assist with identifying and managing patients’ drug-related problems. Both groups want more collaboration to improve patient adherence.
Both groups agree that collaborative practice can positively affect patient outcomes and would like more collaboration opportunities. However, physicians and pharmacists disagree about the areas where they would like to collaborate to deliver care. Changes to reimbursement models and infrastructure are needed to facilitate enhanced collaboration between pharmacists and physicians in the community setting.
This paper reviews the literature, analyzes current and future practice, develops a list of competencies necessary for future pharmacists, and provides recommendations to pharmacy's academic enterprise regarding curricula of the future. Curricula of the future will center around 3 functional roles for pharmacists: patient-centered care, population-based care, and systems management; and must also foster the development of 5 cross-cutting abilities in student pharmacists: professionalism, self-directed learning, leadership and advocacy, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural competency. Future curricula must be developed in an evidence-based manner, focus less on information storage and retrieval, engage student pharmacists in a variety of highly interactive learning experiences, and expand experiential learning opportunities throughout all years.
competencies; curriculum; professionalism; cultural competency; self-directed learning
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
The inclusion of pharmacies in health centres has created opportunities for general practitioners to become better acquainted with the potential contribution of pharmacists to health care. A qualitative study has been made to explore the extent to which this potential has been realized. Ten health centres with an integral pharmacy were selected, one from each of the regional health authorities in England which had at least one such health centre. Interviews were conducted with 13 general practitioners and 10 pharmacists working in the health centres. Nine general practitioners working in health centres without pharmacies and 10 community pharmacists were also interviewed. General practitioners' attitudes towards health centre pharmacists appeared to differ markedly from the attitudes of colleagues working in relative isolation from pharmacists. It appears that general practitioners working closely with the pharmacist develop a collaborative approach to health care.
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 assess Croatian community pharmacists' patient care competencies using the General Level Framework (GLF).
The competencies of 100 community pharmacists working in 38 community pharmacies were evaluated using an adapted version of the GLF.
Pharmacists demonstrated the best performance in the competency areas drug specific issues and provision of drug products; the poorest performance was in the competency areas evaluation of outcomes and monitoring drug therapy. Pharmacists' behavior varied the most in the following areas: ensuring that the prescription is legal, prioritization of medication management problems, and identification of drug-drug interactions.
Competencies were identified that need to be developed to improve pharmacist interventions in community settings. This study provides the first data on pharmacists' performance in Croatia and serves as a starting point for future studies and actions.
competency; pharmacist; General Level Framework; Croatia; community pharmacy
Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes and the lack of patients reaching recommended therapeutic goals, novel models of team-based care are emerging. These teams typically include a combination of physicians, nurses, case managers, pharmacists, and community-based peer health promoters (HPs). Recent evidence supports the role of pharmacists in diabetes management to improve glycemic control, as they offer expertise in medication management with the ability to collaboratively intensify therapy. However, few studies of pharmacy-based models of care have focused on low income, minority populations that are most in need of intervention. Alternatively, HP interventions have focused largely upon low income minority groups, addressing their unique psychosocial and environmental challenges in diabetes self-care. This study will evaluate the impact of HPs as a complement to pharmacist management in a randomized controlled trial.
The primary aim of this randomized trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical pharmacists and HPs on diabetes behaviors (including healthy eating, physical activity, and medication adherence), hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, and LDL-cholesterol levels. A total of 300 minority patients with uncontrolled diabetes from the University of Illinois Medical Center ambulatory network in Chicago will be randomized to either pharmacist management alone, or pharmacist management plus HP support. After one year, the pharmacist-only group will be intensified by the addition of HP support and maintenance will be assessed by phasing out HP support from the pharmacist plus HP group (crossover design). Outcomes will be evaluated at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. In addition, program and healthcare utilization data will be incorporated into cost and cost-effectiveness evaluations of pharmacist management with and without HP support.
The study will evaluate an innovative, integrated approach to chronic disease management in minorities with poorly controlled diabetes. The approach is comprised of clinic-based pharmacists and community-based health promoters collaborating together. They will target patient-level factors (e.g., lack of adherence to lifestyle modification and medications) and provider-level factors (e.g., clinical inertia) that contribute to poor clinical outcomes in diabetes. Importantly, the study design and analytic approach will help determine the differential and combined impact of adherence to lifestyle changes, medication, and intensification on clinical outcomes.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01498159
(3–10): Diabetes mellitus/drug therapy; Patient compliance; Patient education; Pharmacists; Community health workers
Interventions made by pharmacists to resolve issues when filling a prescription ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medication therapy for patients. The purpose of this study was to provide a current estimate of the number and types of interventions performed by community pharmacists during processing of prescriptions. This baseline data will provide insight into the factors influencing current practice and areas where pharmacists can redefine and expand their role.
Patients and methods
A cross-sectional study of community pharmacist interventions was completed. Participants included third-year pharmacy students and their pharmacist preceptor as a data collection team. The team identified all interventions on prescriptions during the hours worked together over a 7-day consecutive period. Full ethics approval was obtained.
Nine student–pharmacist pairs submitted data from nine pharmacies in rural (n = 3) and urban (n = 6) centers. A total of 125 interventions were documented for 106 patients, with a mean intervention rate of 2.8%. The patients were 48% male, were mostly ≥18 years of age (94%), and 86% had either public or private insurance. Over three-quarters of the interventions (77%) were on new prescriptions. The top four types of problems requiring intervention were related to prescription insurance coverage (18%), drug product not available (16%), dosage too low (16%), and missing prescription information (15%). The prescriber was contacted for 69% of the interventions. Seventy-two percent of prescriptions were changed and by the end of the data collection period, 89% of the problems were resolved.
Community pharmacists are impacting the care of patients by identifying and resolving problems with prescriptions. Many of the issues identified in this study were related to correcting administrative or technical issues, potentially limiting the time pharmacists can spend on patient-focused activities.
pharmaceutical care; pharmacy; medications; Canada; prescriptions; drug-related problems
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 determine if there is improvement in medication management when pharmacists and family physicians collaborate to prescribe medication renewals requested by fax.
Prospective, non-randomized controlled trial.
W est Winds Primary Health Centre, an interdisciplinary health centre that includes an academic family medicine practice, located in Saskatoon, Sask.
All patients whose pharmacies faxed the health centre requesting prescription renewals between October 2007 and February 2008 were selected to participate in the study.
Medication renewal requests were forwarded to the pharmacist (who works in the clinic part-time) on days when he was working (intervention group). The pharmacist assessed drug-therapy issues that might preclude safe and effective prescribing of the medication. The pharmacist and physician then made a collaborative decision to authorize the requested medication or to request additional interventions first (eg, perform laboratory tests). When the pharmacist was not working, the physicians managed the renewal requests independently (control group).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Medication renewals authorized with no recommendations, medication-related problems identified, new monitoring tests ordered, and new appointments scheduled with health providers.
A total of 181 renewal requests were included (94 in the control group and 87 in the intervention group). The control group had significantly more requests authorized with no recommendations (75.5% vs 52.9%, P = .001). Those in the intervention group had significantly more medication-related problems identified (26 vs 10, P = .031); medication changes made (24 vs 10, P = .044); and new appointments scheduled with their family physicians (31 vs 21, P = .049).
There is an improvement in medication management when a pharmacist collaborates with family physicians to prescribe medication renewals. The collaborative model created significantly more activity with each renewal request (ie, identification of medication-related problems, medication changes, and new appointments), which reflects an improvement in the process of care.
Patient self-management is a key approach to manage non-communicable diseases. A pharmacist-led approach in patient self-management means collaborative care between pharmacists and patients. However, the development of both patient self-management and role of pharmacists is limited in Hong Kong. The objectives of this study are to understand the perspectives of physicians, pharmacists, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners, and dispensers on self-management of patients with chronic conditions, in addition to exploring the possibilities of developing pharmacist-led patient self-management in Hong Kong.
Participants were invited through the University as well as professional networks. Fifty-one participants comprised of physicians, pharmacists, TCM practitioners and dispensers participated in homogenous focus group discussions. Perspectives in patient self-management and pharmacist-led patient self-management were discussed. The discussions were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed accordingly.
The majority of the participants were in support of patients with stable chronic diseases engaging in self-management. Medication compliance, monitoring of disease parameters and complications, lifestyle modification and identifying situations to seek help from health professionals were generally agreed to be covered in patient self-management. All pharmacists believed that they had extended roles in addition to drug management but the other three professionals believed that pharmacists were drug experts only and could only play an assisting role. Physicians, TCM practitioners, and dispensers were concerned that pharmacist-led patient self-management could be hindered, due to unfamiliarity with the pharmacy profession, the perception of insufficient training in disease management, and lack of trust of patients.
An effective chronic disease management model should involve patients in stable condition to participate in self-management in order to prevent health deterioration and to save healthcare costs. The role of pharmacists should not be limited to drugs and should be extended in the primary healthcare system. Pharmacist-led patient self-management could be developed gradually with the support of government by enhancing pharmacists' responsibilities in health services and developing public-private partnership with community pharmacists. Developing facilitating measures to enhance the implementation of the pharmacist-led approach should also be considered, such as allowing pharmacists to access electronic health records, as well as deregulation of more prescription-only medicines to pharmacy-only medicines.
patient self-management; pharmacist-led patient self-management; chronic disease; health policy; Hong Kong
Pharmacists, the most accessible of health care professionals, are well positioned to help prevent and treat substance use disorders and should prepare themselves to perform these functions. New research improves our knowledge about the pharmacological and behavioral risks of drug abuse, supports the clinical impression that drug dependence is associated with long-lasting neurochemical changes, and demonstrates effective pharmacological treatments for certain kinds of drug dependencies. The profession is evolving. Pharmacists are engaging in new practice behaviors such as helping patients manage their disease states. Collaborative practice agreements and new federal policies set the stage for pharmacists to assist in the clinical management of opioid and other drug dependencies. Pharmacists need to be well informed about issues related to addiction and prepared not only to screen, assess, and refer individual cases and to collaborate with physicians caring for chemically dependent patients, but also to be agents of change in their communities in the fight against drug abuse.
At the end of this article the pharmacist will be better able to:
1. Explain the disease concept of chemical dependence
2. Gather the information necessary to conduct a screen for chemical dependence
3. Inform patients about the treatment options for chemical dependence
4. Locate resources needed to answer questions about the effects of common drugs of abuse (alcohol, marijuana, narcotics, "ecstasy", and cocaine)
5. Develop a list of local resources for drug abuse treatment
6. Counsel parents who are concerned about drug use by their children
7. Counsel individuals who are concerned about drug use by a loved one.
8. Counsel individuals who are concerned about their own drug use
Few studies have reported the efficacy of collaborative care involving family physicians and community pharmacists for patients with dyslipidemia.
We randomly assigned clusters consisting of at least two physicians and at least four pharmacists to provide collaborative care or usual care. Under the collaborative care model, pharmacists counselled patients about their medications, requested laboratory tests, monitored the effectiveness and safety of medications and patients’ adherence to therapy, and adjusted medication dosages. After 12 months of follow-up, we assessed changes in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the primary outcome), the proportion of patients reaching their target lipid levels and changes in other risk factors.
Fifteen clusters representing a total of 77 physicians and 108 pharmacists were initially recruited, and a total of 51 physicians and 49 pharmacists were included in the final analyses. The collaborative care teams followed a total of 108 patients, and the usual care teams followed a total of 117 patients. At baseline, mean LDL cholesterol level was higher in the collaborative care group (3.5 v. 3.2 mmol/L, p = 0.05). During the study, patients in the collaborative care group were less likely to receive high-potency statins (11% v. 40%), had more visits with health care professionals and more laboratory tests, were more likely to have their lipid-lowering treatment changed and were more likely to report lifestyle changes. At 12 months, the crude incremental mean reduction in LDL cholesterol in the collaborative care group was −0.2 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [CI] −0.3 to −0.1), and the adjusted reduction was −0.05 (95% CI −0.3 to 0.2). The crude relative risk of achieving lipid targets for patients in the collaborative care group was 1.10 (95% CI 0.95 to 1.26), and the adjusted relative risk was 1.16 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.34).
Collaborative care involving physicians and pharmacists had no significant clinical impact on lipid control in patients with dyslipidemia. International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial register no. ISRCTN66345533.
Many computerized information services have been developed to facilitate the retrieval and dissemination of medical information. Drug information in particular has been identified as a medical information need. Pharmacists, especially in the community setting, can serve an important role as an information resource to patients, physicians, and other health care professionals. Community pharmacists, however, often have inadequate reference libraries and have infrequently accessed online information. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the utility of GRATEFUL MED and BRS Colleague as information sources to community pharmacists, pharmacy students during externship rotations at these sites, and university based clinical pharmacists.
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
The pressures driving the need for an expanded practice scope in community pharmacy have been building for the past 2 decades. Many pharmacists have chosen to embrace the pharmaceutical care model in their practice sites to meet patient and healthcare system needs. The potential for medication therapy management (MTM) services provide an additional career opportunity for pharmacy graduates. Colleges of pharmacy offer advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in the community setting that are designed to prepare students for these opportunities. These sites provide students with the opportunity to observe the integration of pharmaceutical care activities into community practice. Although developing an APPE site is challenging, serving as a preceptor benefits the students, the site, and the patients served. Therefore, colleges of pharmacy and community pharmacists are collaborating to increase the number of APPE sites to prepare pharmacy students for practice today and tomorrow.
curriculum; advanced pharmacy practice experience; community pharmacy; preceptor
To ascertain the opinions of graduating family physicians about collaboration between family physicians and community pharmacists.
Anonymous online survey.
Two French-Canadian university family medicine residency programs.
The 2010 and 2011 graduating family physicians (N = 343) from the University of Montreal and Laval University in Quebec.
Main outcome measures
Content of written prescriptions; frequency of and reasons for consultations with community pharmacists; and graduates’ perceptions of sharing professional responsibilities with community pharmacists.
The response rate was 54.2%. Overall, graduates were open to collaborating actively with community pharmacists. For example, at least 60% of graduates reported that it was important to write on prescriptions about any changes to patients’ medication and creatinine clearance. Most graduates responded positively to sharing responsibility for the adjustment of treatment of patients with certain chronic conditions (88.3% for anticoagulation, 64.7% for hypercholesterolemia, 61.2% for hypertension, and 60.6% for diabetes) and for the initiation of treatment of minor conditions according to a collective prescription (80.6% for traveler’s diarrhea, 74.1% for juvenile acne, and 73.6% for allergic rhinitis). However, such interprofessional collaboration requires that each professional group continues to adapt to its roles and responsibilities.
Family medicine graduates are open to actively collaborating with community pharmacists, but they have some reservations regarding sharing certain responsibilities. As collaborative practices are changing, graduates’ opinions should be documented once they are actually practising.
Pharmacists are uniquely trained to provide guidance to patients in the selection of appropriate non-prescription therapy. Physicians in Qatar may not always recognize how pharmacists function in assuring safe medication use. Both these health professional groups come from heterogeneous training and experiences before migrating to the country and these backgrounds could influence collaborative patient care. Qatar Petroleum (QP), the largest private employer in the country, has developed a pharmacist-guided medication consulting service at their primary care clinics, but physician comfort with pharmacists recommending drug therapy is currently unknown. The objective of this study is to characterize physician perceptions of pharmacists and their roles in a primary care patient setting in Qatar.
This cross-sectional survey was developed following a comprehensive literature review and administered in English and Arabic. Consenting QP physicians were asked questions to assess experiences, comfort and expectations of pharmacist roles and abilities to provide medication-related advice and recommend and monitor therapies.
The median age of the 62 (77.5%) physicians who responded was between 40 and 50 years old and almost two-third were men (64.5%). Fourteen different nationalities were represented. Physicians were more comfortable with pharmacist activities closely linked to drug products than responsibilities associated with monitoring and optimization of patient outcomes. Medication education (96.6%) and drug knowledge (90%) were practically unanimously recognized as abilities expected of pharmacists, but consultative roles, such as assisting in drug regimen design were less acknowledged. They proposed pharmacist spend more time with physicians attending joint meetings or education events to help advance acceptance of pharmacists in patient-centered care at this site.
Physicians had low comfort and expectations of patient-oriented pharmacist roles but were not threatened to learn more about these capabilities or explore enhanced collaboration in patient care.
Physician; Perceptions; Pharmacists; Qatar
Pharmacists have expanded their roles and responsibilities as a result of primary health care reform. There is currently no consensus on the core competencies for pharmacists working in these evolving practices. The aim of this study was to develop and validate competencies for pharmacists' effective performance in these roles, and in so doing, document the perceived contribution of pharmacists providing collaborative primary health care services.
Using a modified Delphi process including assessing perception of the frequency and criticality of performing tasks, we validated competencies important to primary health care pharmacists practising across Canada.
Ten key informants contributed to competency drafting; thirty-three expert pharmacists replied to a second round survey. The final primary health care pharmacist competencies consisted of 34 elements and 153 sub-elements organized in seven CanMeds-based domains. Highest importance rankings were allocated to the domains of care provider and professional, followed by communicator and collaborator, with the lower importance rankings relatively equally distributed across the manager, advocate and scholar domains.
Expert pharmacists working in primary health care estimated their most important responsibilities to be related to direct patient care. Competencies that underlie and are required for successful fulfillment of these patient care responsibilities, such as those related to communication, collaboration and professionalism were also highly ranked. These ranked competencies can be used to help pharmacists understand their potential roles in these evolving practices, to help other health care professionals learn about pharmacists' contributions to primary health care, to establish standards and performance indicators, and to prioritize supports and education to maximize effectiveness in this role.
Primary health care; Pharmacy; Pharmacists; Competencies; Scope of practice
Clinical pharmacy is deemed an integral component of a health care system. The presence of clinical pharmacists in medical rounds could assist physicians in optimizing patients’ pharmacotherapy. Moreover, clinical pharmacists may reduce adverse effects and medication errors insofar as they contribute significantly to the detection and management of drug-related problems, not least in patients with cardiovascular diseases, who have the highest rank in the frequency of medication errors. Clinical pharmacists can also collaborate with physicians in the management of cardiovascular risk factors as well as anticoagulation therapy based on patients’ specific situations.
In summary, the practice of clinical pharmacy is considered a crucial part of a health care team to improve the level of patients’ care by increasing the quality of therapy with the least expense for a health care system.
Pharmacy; Cardiovascular diseases; Professional role; Patient care team
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
Previous pharmacist interventions to reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk have been limited by low patient enrolment. The primary aim of this study was to implement a collaborative pharmacist intervention that used a systematic case-finding procedure to identify and manage patients with uncontrolled CV risk factors.
This was an uncontrolled, program implementation study. We implemented a collaborative pharmacist intervention in a primary care clinic. All adults presenting for an appointment with a participating physician were systematically screened and assessed for CV risk factor control by the pharmacist. Recommendations for risk factor management were communicated on a standardized form, and the level of pharmacist follow-up was determined on a case-by-case basis. We recorded the proportion of adults exhibiting a moderate to high Framingham risk score and at least 1 uncontrolled risk factor. In addition, we assessed before-after changes in CV risk factors.
Of the 566 patients who were screened prior to visiting a participating physician, 186 (32.9%) exhibited moderate or high CV risk along with at least 1 uncontrolled risk factor. Physicians requested pharmacist follow-up for 60.8% (113/186) of these patients. Of the patients receiving the pharmacist intervention, 65.5% (74/113) were at least 50% closer to 1 or more of their risk factor targets by the end of the study period. Significant risk factor improvements from baseline were also observed.
Through implementation of a systematic case-finding approach that was carried out by the pharmacist on behalf of the clinic team, a large number of patients with uncontrolled risk factors were identified, assessed and managed with a collaborative intervention.
Systematic case finding appears to be an important part of a successful intervention to identify and manage individuals exhibiting uncontrolled CV risk factors in a primary care setting.
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.
Pharmacist-physician co-management of hypertension has been shown to improve office blood pressures (BP). We sought to describe the effect of such a model on 24-hour ambulatory BPs.
We performed a prospective, cluster-randomised controlled clinical trial in 179 patients with uncontrolled hypertension from five primary care clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Patients were randomized by clinic to receive pharmacist-physician collaborative management of hypertension (intervention) or usual care (control) for a 9-month period. In the intervention group, pharmacists helped patients identify barriers to BP control, counselled on lifestyle and dietary modifications, and adjusted antihypertensive therapy in collaboration with the patient’s primary care provider. Patients were seen by pharmacists a minimum every 2 months. Ambulatory BP was obtained at baseline and study end.
Baseline and end of study ambulatory BP profiles were evaluated for 175 patients. Ambulatory BPs were reduced to a greater extent in the intervention compared to control group (daytime ΔSBP [SD] 15.2[11.5] vs 5.5[13.5], p<0.001; nighttime ΔSBP [SD] 12.2[14.8] vs 3.4[13.3], p<0.001; 24-hour ΔSBP [SD] 14.1[11.3] vs 5.5[12.5], p<0.001). More patients in the intervention group had BP controlled at the end of the study (75% vs 50.7%, p<0.001) as defined by overall 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring.
Pharmacist-physician collaborative management of hypertension achieved consistent and significantly greater reduction in 24-hour BP and a high rate of BP control.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; pharmacist/physician collaboration; blood pressure; hypertension management; cardiovascular risk; team-based care