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1.  Role of community pharmacists in asthma – Australian research highlighting pathways for future primary care models 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(4):190-200.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting the Australian population. Amongst primary healthcare professionals, pharmacists are the most accessible and this places pharmacists in an excellent position to play a role in the management of asthma. Globally, trials of many community pharmacy-based asthma care models have provided evidence that pharmacist delivered interventions can improve clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes for asthma patients. In Australia, a decade of coordinated research efforts, in various aspects of asthma care, has culminated in the implementation trial of the Pharmacy Asthma Management Service (PAMS), a comprehensive disease management model.
There has been research investigating asthma medication adherence through data mining, ways in which usual asthma care can be improved. Our research has focused on self-management education, inhaler technique interventions, spirometry trials, interprofessional models of care, and regional trials addressing the particular needs of rural communities. We have determined that inhaler technique education is a necessity and should be repeated if correct technique is to be maintained. We have identified this effectiveness of health promotion and health education, conducted within and outside the confines of the pharmacy, in public for a and settings such as schools, and established that this outreach role is particularly well received and increases the opportunity for people with asthma to engage in their asthma management.
Our research has identified that asthma patients have needs which pharmacists delivering specialized models of care, can address. There is a lot of evidence for the effectiveness of asthma care by pharmacists, the future must involve integration of this role into primary care.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2011790
PMCID: PMC3562897  PMID: 23393510
Asthma; community pharmacy; pharmacists’disease state management; self-management; health promotion; inhaler technique
2.  Improving pharmacy practice through public health programs: experience from Global HIV/AIDS initiative Nigeria project 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:525.
Background
The use of medicines is an essential component of many public health programs (PHPs). Medicines are important not only for their capacity to treat and prevent diseases. The public confidence in healthcare system is inevitably linked to their confidence in the availability of safe and effective medicines and the measures for ensuring their rational use. However, pharmacy services component receives little or no attention in most public health programs in developing countries. This article describes the strategies, lessons learnt, and some accomplishments of Howard University Pharmacists and Continuing Education (HU-PACE) Centre towards improving hospital pharmacy practice through PHP in Nigeria.
Method
In a cross-sectional survey, 60 hospital pharmacies were randomly selected from 184 GHAIN-supported health facilities. The assessment was conducted at baseline and repeated after at least 12 months post-intervention using a study-specific instrument. Interventions included engagement of stakeholders; provision of standards for infrastructural upgrade; development of curricula and modules for training of pharmacy personnel; provision of job aids and tools amongst others. A follow-up hands-on skill enhancement based on identified gaps was conducted. Chi-square was used for inferential statistics. All reported p-values were 2-tailed at 95% confidence interval.
Results
The mean duration of service provision at post-intervention assessment was 24.39 (95% CI, 21.70–27.08) months. About 16.7% of pharmacies reported been trained in HIV care at pre-intervention compared to 83.3% at post-intervention. The proportion of pharmacies with audio-visual privacy for patient counseling increased significantly from 30.9% at pre-intervention to 81.4% at post-intervention. Filled prescriptions were cross-checked by pharmacist (61.9%) and pharmacy technician (23.8%) before dispensing at pre-intervention compared to pharmacist (93.1%) and pharmacy technician (6.9%) at post intervention. 40.0% of pharmacies reported tracking consumption of drugs at pre-intervention compared to 98.3% at post-intervention; while 81.7% of pharmacies reported performing periodic stock reconciliation at pre-intervention compared to 100.0% at post-intervention. 36.5% of pharmacies were observed providing individual counseling on medication use to patients at pre-intervention compared to 73.2% at post-intervention; and 11.7% of pharmacies had evidence of monitoring and reporting of suspected adverse drug reaction at pre-intervention compared to 73.3% at post-intervention. The institution of access to patients’ clinical information by pharmacists in all pharmacies at post-intervention was a paradigm shift.
Conclusion
Through public health program, HU-PACE created an enabling environment and improved capacity of pharmacy personnel for quality HIV/AIDS and TB services. This has contributed in diverse ways to better monitoring of patients on pharmacotherapy by pharmacists through access of pharmacists to patients’ clinical information.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-525
PMCID: PMC3824707  PMID: 24255831
Pharmaceutical care; HIV/AIDS; Public health programs; Patients; Nigeria
3.  Patients’ perception, views and satisfaction with pharmacists’ role as health care provider in community pharmacy setting at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Objectives
This study will provide guiding information about the population perception, views and satisfaction with pharmacist’s performance as health care provider in the community pharmacy setting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Method
The study was conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from July through December 2010. A total of 125 community pharmacies in Riyadh city were randomly selected according to their geographical distribution (north, south, east, and west). They represent about 10–15% of all community pharmacies in the city. The questionnaire composed of 8 items about patients’ views and satisfaction with the pharmacists’ role in the current community pharmacy practice. The questionnaire was coded, checked for accuracy and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois).
Results
The response rate was almost 85% where 2000 patients were approached and 1699 of them responded to our questionnaire. The majority of respondents is young adults and adults (82.8%), male (67.5%) and married (66.9%). Seventy one percent of respondents assured that community pharmacist is available in the working while only 37.3% of respondents perceived the pharmacist as a mere vendor. About 38% assured sou moto counseling by the pharmacist, 35% reported pharmacist plays an active role in their compliances to treatments, 43% acknowledged the role of pharmacist in solving medication related problems, 34% considered the pharmacist as a health awareness provider and 44.6% felt that pharmacist is indispensable and an effective part of the health care system.
Conclusion
The image and professional performance of community pharmacist are improving in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi patients show better satisfaction, perception and appreciation of the pharmacists’ role in the health care team. However, extra efforts should be paid to improve the clinical skills of the community pharmacists. Community pharmacists need to be able to reach out to patient, assess their hesitations and promptly offer solution which was appreciated by the patients as the survey indicates. They should play a pro-active role in becoming an effective and indispensable part of health care. Furthermore, they should be able to advice, guide, direct and persuade the patient to comply correct usage of drugs. Finally, community pharmacists should equip themselves with appropriate knowledge and competencies in order to tender efficient and outstanding pharmaceutical health care.
doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2012.05.007
PMCID: PMC3745196  PMID: 23960807
Community; Pharmacist; Satisfaction; Care; Drug; Perception
4.  Older Patient, Physician and Pharmacist Perspectives about Community Pharmacists’ Roles 
Objectives
To investigate older patient, physician and pharmacist perspectives about the pharmacists’ role in pharmacist-patient interactions.
Methods
Design
Eight focus group discussions.
Settings
Senior centers, community pharmacies, primary care physician offices.
Participants
Forty-two patients aged 63 and older, 17 primary care physicians, and 13 community pharmacists.
Measurements
Qualitative analysis of focus group discussions.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1111/j.2042-7174.2012.00202.x
PMCID: PMC3442941  PMID: 22953767
pharmacist-patient interactions; provider-patient communication; prescription medication; qualitative research methods
5.  Design of a trial to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacists and community health promoters working with African-Americans and Latinos with Diabetes 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:891.
Background
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.
Methods/Design
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.
Discussion
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.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01498159
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-891
PMCID: PMC3571948  PMID: 23088168
(3–10): Diabetes mellitus/drug therapy; Patient compliance; Patient education; Pharmacists; Community health workers
6.  Understanding public trust in services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners: a qualitative study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000939.
Objectives
To apply sociological theories to understand public trust in extended services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners (GPs).
Design
Qualitative study involving focus groups with members of the public.
Setting
The West of Scotland.
Participants
26 purposively sampled members of the public were involved in one of five focus groups. The groups were composed to represent known groups of users and non-users of community pharmacy, namely mothers with young children, seniors and men.
Results
Trust was seen as being crucial in healthcare settings. Focus group discussions revealed that participants were inclined to draw unfavourable comparisons between pharmacists and GPs. Importantly, participants' trust in GPs was greater than that in pharmacists. Participants considered pharmacists to be primarily involved in medicine supply, and awareness of the pharmacist's extended role was low. Participants were often reluctant to trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar services, particularly those perceived to be ‘high risk’. Numerous system-based factors were identified, which reinforce patient trust and confidence in GPs, including GP registration and appointment systems, GPs' expert/gatekeeper role and practice environments. Our data indicate that the nature and context of public interactions with GPs fostered familiarity with a specific GP or practice, which allowed interpersonal trust to develop. By contrast, participants' exposure to community pharmacists was limited. Additionally, a good understanding of the GPs' level of training and role promoted confidence.
Conclusion
Current UK initiatives, which aim to implement a range of pharmacist-led services, are undermined by lack of public trust. It seems improbable that the public will trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar services, which are perceived to be ‘high risk’, unless health systems change in a way that promotes trust in pharmacists. This may be achieved by increasing the quality and quantity of patient interactions with pharmacists and gaining GP support for extended pharmacy services.
Article summary
Article focus
Why do the public access GPs for services, which are also available in community pharmacies?
What sort of services do the public trust community pharmacists to deliver?
What factors underpin greater public trust in GP services relative to community pharmacy services?
Key messages
Public trust in GPs was greater than that in pharmacists; many were reluctant to trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar ‘high-risk’ services.
Numerous system-based factors reinforce public trust and confidence in GPs, including GP registration and appointment systems, GPs' expert/gatekeeper role and practice environments.
This study suggests that increasing the quality and quantity of patient interactions with pharmacists and gaining GP support for extended pharmacy services could build public trust.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This is the first study to apply sociological perspectives of trust to understand public perspectives of community pharmacy.
The qualitative approach has allowed us to gather in-depth information in an under-researched area.
The study methodology limits generalisation, although theme saturation was achieved and the context of the study is explicitly defined.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000939
PMCID: PMC3358628  PMID: 22586286
7.  Relationship between E-Prescriptions and Community Pharmacy Workflow 
Objectives
To understand how community pharmacists use electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) technology; and to describe the workflow challenges pharmacy personnel encounter as a result of using e-prescribing technology.
Design
Cross-sectional qualitative study.
Setting
Seven community pharmacies in Wisconsin from December 2010 to March 2011
Participants
16 pharmacists and 14 pharmacy technicians (in three chain and four independent pharmacies).
Interventions
Think-aloud protocol and pharmacy group interviews.
Main outcome measures
Pharmacy staff description of their use of e-prescribing technology and challenges encountered in their daily workflow related to this technology.
Results
Two contributing factors were perceived to influence e-prescribing workflow: issues stemming from prescribing or transmitting software, and issues from within the pharmacy. Pharmacies experienced both delays in receiving, and inaccurate e-prescriptions from physician offices. Receiving an overwhelming number of e-prescriptions with inaccurate or unclear information resulted in significant time delays for patients as pharmacists contacted physicians to clarify wrong information. In addition, pharmacy personnel reported that lack of formal training and the disconnect between the way pharmacists verify accuracy and conduct drug utilization review and the presentation of e-prescription information on the computer screen significantly influenced the speed of processing an e-prescription.
Conclusion
E-prescriptions processing can hinder pharmacy workflow. As the number of e-prescriptions transmitted to pharmacies increases due to legislative mandates; it is essential that the technology that supports e-prescriptions (both on the prescriber and pharmacy operating systems) be redesigned to facilitate pharmacy workflow processes and to prevent unintended consequences, such as increased medication errors, user frustration, and stress.
doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2012.12066
PMCID: PMC3623613  PMID: 23229979
E-prescribing; electronic prescribing; community pharmacy; workflow
8.  Pharmaceutical Consultation in UAE Community Pharmacies 
In recent years, the focus of pharmacists as traditional drug dispensers has shifted to more active and participative role in risk assessment, risk management, and other medication related consultation activities. Pharmacy profession is evolving steadily in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pharmacists in UAE are so much occupied in their administrative and managerial duties that dispensing is mostly attended to by pharmacy technicians. Pharmacist-led patient counseling is limited to the dosage and frequency of medications and rarely adverse reactions and drug interactions with other medications. Therefore we decided to perform quantitative questionnaires study to explore the role of pharmacist in patient counseling in UAE, the evaluation of pharmacist's opinion on patient counseling and the potential determinants of personal consultation. Results show the frequency and nature of inquiries received by pharmacist. Five to twenty inquires per month are received from patient, most of them related to drug prescription and dose recommendation. Thirty nine percent of pharmacists received inquiries from doctors, most of them related to the dose and mode of action. Ninty two percent of the pharmacists agreed that patient counseling is their professional responsibility. About 82% of pharmacists agreed that counseling will increase their sales and enhance the reputation of their pharmacies. Seventy percent of pharmacists mentioned that they need to undergo training for effective counseling while 46% of pharmacists felt that more staff in the pharmacies would have a positive influence on patient compliance to medication therapies and patient safety. The potential determinants of personal consultation show that 52% of participants trusted pharmacist and 55% considered the pharmacist as a friend. Forty eight percent of participants visited the pharmacy for medical recommendation while 30% for drug compounding, 72% agreed that pharmacist conducts full instruction while 31% agreed about full investigation. In conclusion, reorganization of the pharmacist's activities may improve pharmaceutical consultations. Pharmacists must be exposed to recent trends in drug therapy, dosage forms, dosage, adverse effects and interaction. This will go a long way in providing rational use of drugs to the patients and improve their quality of life.
doi:10.4103/0250-474X.95621
PMCID: PMC3374556  PMID: 22707824
Attitudes and behaviors; community pharmacists; patient counseling; patient information leaflets; personal consultation
9.  Access to Multilingual Medication Instructions at New York City Pharmacies 
An essential component of quality care for limited English proficient (LEP) patients is language access. Linguistically accessible medication instructions are particularly important, given the serious consequences of error and patient responsibility for managing often complex medication regimens on their own. Approximately 21 million people in the U.S. were LEP at the time of the 2000 census, representing a 50% increase since 1990. Little information is available on their access to comprehensible medication instructions. In an effort to address this knowledge gap, we conducted a telephone survey of 200 randomly selected NYC pharmacies. The primary focus of the survey was translation need, capacity, and practice. The majority of pharmacists reported that they had LEP patients daily (88.0%) and had the capacity to translate prescription labels (79.5%). Among pharmacies serving LEP patients on a daily basis, just 38.6% translated labels daily; 22.7% never translated. In multivariate analysis, pharmacy type (OR=4.08, 95%CI=1.55–10.74, independent versus chain pharmacies) and proportion of Spanish-speaking LEP persons in the pharmacy’s census tract (OR=1.09, 95%CI=1.05–1.13 for each 1% increase in Spanish LEP population) were associated with increased label translation. Although 88.5% of the pharmacies had bilingual staff, less than half were pharmacists or pharmacy interns and thus qualified to provide medication counseling. More than 80% of the pharmacies surveyed lacked systematic methods for identifying linguistic needs and for informing patients of translation capabilities. Consistent with efforts to improve language access in other health care settings, the critical gap in language appropriate pharmacy services must be addressed to meet the needs of the nation’s large and ever-growing immigrant communities. Pharmacists may require supplemental training on the need and resources for meeting the verbal and written language requirements of their LEP patients. Dispensing software with accurate translation capability and telephonic interpretation services should be utilized in pharmacies serving LEP patients. Pharmacists should post signs and make other efforts to inform patients about the language resources available to them.
doi:10.1007/s11524-007-9221-3
PMCID: PMC2232041  PMID: 17926130
LEP patients; Medical instructions; Pharmacists; Label translation;  Immigrants; Language access
10.  Factors affecting pharmacists’ recommendation of complementary medicines – a qualitative pilot study of Australian pharmacists 
Background
Complementary medicines (CMs) are widely used by the Australian public, and pharmacies are major suppliers of these medicines. The integration of CMs into pharmacy practice is well documented, but the behaviours of pharmacists in recommending CMs to customers are less well studied. This study reports on factors that influence whether or not pharmacists in Australia recommend CMs to their customers.
Methods
Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with twelve practicing pharmacists based in Brisbane, Australia. The qualitative data were analysed by thematic analysis.
Results
The primary driver of the recommendation of CMs was a desire to provide a health benefit to the customer. Other important drivers were an awareness of evidence of efficacy, customer feedback and pharmacy protocols to recommend a CM alongside a particular pharmaceutical medication. The primary barrier to the recommendation of CMs was safety concerns around patients on multiple medications or with complex health issues. Also, a lack of knowledge of CMs, a perceived lack of evidence or a lack of time to counsel patients were identified as barriers. There was a desire to see a greater integration of CM into formal pharmacy education. Additionally, the provision of good quality educational materials was seen as important to allow pharmacists to assess levels of evidence for CMs and educate them on their safe and appropriate use.
Conclusions
Pharmacists who frequently recommend CMs identify many potential benefits for patients and see it as an important part of providing a ‘healthcare solution’. To encourage the informed use of CMs in pharmacy there is a need for the development of accessible, quality resources on CMs. In addition, incorporation of CM education into pharmacy curricula would better prepare graduate pharmacists for community practice. Ultimately, such moves would contribute to the safe and effective use of CMs to the benefit of consumers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-183
PMCID: PMC3511229  PMID: 23051066
Pharmacy and complementary medicine; Pharmacists’ attitude towards complementary medicine; Pharmacy practice; Companion selling; Qualitative study
11.  Health literacy in the pharmacy setting: defining pharmacotherapy literacy 
Pharmacy Practice  2011;9(4):213-220.
Objective
All currently available definitions of health literacy may be considered quite general. Given the complex nature of the patient-pharmacy encounter and the varying tasks required to properly and successfully consume or administer medication or to adhere to a pharmaceutical care regimen, these available definitions may describe inadequately a patient’s health literacy for the purpose of pharmacotherapy and pharmacist intervention. Therefore, the objective of this research was to conceptualize the Pharmacotherapy Literacy construct.
Methods
Licensed pharmacists (n=2,368) were mailed a questionnaire providing them with the Healthy People 2010 definition of health literacy and asked, “Given this definition, how would you define Pharmacotherapy Literacy?” A total of 420 usable surveys were returned of which 176 (42%) included responses to the open-ended question concerning pharmacotherapy literacy. Responses were reviewed independently and collectively by the authors. Common themes were identified, compared and discussed until consensus was reached. An initial definition was formulated and distributed to six doctoral-trained academicians and practicing pharmacists who were asked to offer their opinions of the definition as well as suggestions for its improvement. The definition was modified and subjected to further review from 15 additional doctoral-trained academicians and practicing pharmacists who provided feedback concerning its improvement.
Results
Based on the recommendations received from the academicians and pharmacists, the following, final definition was formulated by the authors: Pharmacotherapy Literacy - An individual’s capacity to obtain, evaluate, calculate, and comprehend basic information about pharmacotherapy and pharmacy related services necessary to make appropriate medication-related decisions, regardless of the mode of content delivery (e.g. written, oral, visual images and symbols).
Conclusions
As the ever-changing pharmacy environment continues to advance and become more complex in nature, a definition of health literacy specific to the pharmacy setting - thereby providing a name and a focus - may improve medication consumption, medication safety, and the patient-pharmacist relationship.
PMCID: PMC3818737  PMID: 24198859
Health Literacy; Drug Therapy; Medication Errors; Consensus
12.  A qualitative study exploring public perceptions on the role of community pharmacists in Dubai 
Pharmacy Practice  2014;12(1):363.
Background
The role of community pharmacists is very important due to their access to primary care patients and expertise. For this reason, the interaction level between pharmacists and patients should be optimized to ensure enhanced delivery of pharmacy services.
Objective
To gauge perceptions and expectations of the public on the role of community pharmacists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Methods
Twenty five individuals were invited to participate in 4 separate focus group discussions. Individuals came from different racial groups and socio-economic backgrounds. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Using thematic analysis, two reviewers coded all transcripts to identify emerging themes. Appropriate measures were taken to ensure study rigor and validity.
Results
All facilitators and barriers that were identified were grouped into 5 distinct themes. The pharmacist as a healthcare professional in the public mind was the most prominent theme that was discussed in all 4 focus groups. Other themes identified were, in decreasing order of prevalence, psychological perceptions towards pharmacists, important determinants of a pharmacist, the pharmacy as a unique healthcare provider, and control over pharmacies by health authorities.
Conclusions
This study provided insight into the way that the public looks at the role of community pharmacists in Dubai. Determinants that influence their perception are the media, health authorities, pharmacist’s knowledge level, attire, nationality, age, and pharmacy location.
PMCID: PMC3955864  PMID: 24644519
Community Pharmacy Services; Pharmacies; Professional Practice; Consumer Satisfaction; Focus Groups; United Arab Emirates
13.  Implementing ward based clinical pharmacy services in an Ethiopian University Hospital 
Pharmacy Practice  2013;11(1):51-57.
Background
Clinical pharmacy practice has developed internationally to expand the role of a pharmacist well beyond the traditional roles of compounding, dispensing and supplying drugs to roles more directly in caring for patients. Studies on the activities of the clinical pharmacist in an inpatient ward in resource constrained settings are scarce, however.
Objective
To assess ward based clinical pharmacy services in an internal medicine ward of Jimma University Specialized Hospital.
Methods
The study was carried out in the internal medicine ward from March to April, 2011 at Jimma University Specialized Hospital. The study design was a prospective observational study where pharmaceutical care services provided by clinical pharmacists for inpatients were documented over a period of two months. Interventions like optimization of rational drug use and physician acceptance of these recommendations were documented. Clinical significance of interventions was evaluated by an independent team (1 internist, 1 clinical pharmacologist) using a standardized method for categorizing drug related problems (DRPs).
Results
A total of 149 drug related interventions conducted for 48 patients were documented; among which 133(89.3%) were clinical pharmacists initiated interventions and 16(10.7%) interventions were initiated by other health care professionals. The most frequent DRPs underlying interventions were unnecessary drug therapy, 36(24.2%); needs additional drug therapy, 34(22.8%) and noncompliance, 29(19.5%). The most frequent intervention type was change of dosage/instruction for use, 23(15.4%). Acceptance rate by physicians was 68.4%. Among the interventions that were rated as clinically significant, 46(48.9%) and 25(26.6%) had major and moderate clinical importance respectively.
Conclusions
Involving trained clinical pharmacists in the healthcare team leads to clinically relevant and well accepted optimization of medicine use in a resource limited settings. This approach can likely be generalized to other health care settings in the country to improve medication outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3780502  PMID: 24155850
Medication Errors; Inpatients; Pharmaceutical Services; Professional Practice; Ethiopia
14.  Patient And phaRmacist Telephonic Encounters (PARTE) in an underserved rural population with asthma: methods and rationale 
Innovations in pharmacy  2011;2(3):49-.
Purpose
Methods used to deliver and test a pharmacy-based asthma care telephonic service for an underserved, rural patient population are described.
Summary
In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the Patient And phaRmacist Telephonic Encounters (PARTE) project is assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary impact of providing pharmacy-based asthma care service telephonically. The target audience is a low income patient population across a large geographic area served by a federally qualified community health center. Ninety-eight participants have been randomized to either standard care or the intervention group who received consultation and direct feedback from pharmacists via telephone regarding their asthma self-management and medication use. Pharmacists used a counseling framework that incorporates the Indian Health Services 3 Prime Questions and the RIM Technique (Recognition, Identification, and Management) for managing medication use problems. Pharmacists encouraged patients to be active partners in the decision-making process to identify and address the underlying cause of medication use problems. Uniquely, this trial collected process and summative data using qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pharmacists’ training, the fidelity and quality of pharmacists’ service delivery, and short term patient outcomes are being evaluated. This evaluation will improve our ability to address research challenges and intervention barriers, refine staff training, explore patient perspectives, and evaluate measures’ power to provide preliminary patient outcome findings.
Conclusion
A mixed method evaluation of a structured pharmacist intervention has the potential to offer insights regarding staff training, service fidelity and short term outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data in an RCT. Results will provide evidence regarding the feasibility and quality of carrying out the study and service delivery from the multiple perspectives of participants, clinicians, and researchers.
PMCID: PMC3711922  PMID: 23864987
patient-pharmacist communication; asthma; telepharmacy
15.  Issues Facing Pharmacy Leaders in 2013 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(5):433-437.
The Director’s Forum provides directors of pharmacy practical ways to develop patient-centered pharmacy services. Pharmacy directors must understand the key issues facing their departments and incorporate strategies for these issues as part of their strategic planning process. Health care reform and the Affordable Care Act require that departments operate efficiently and closely monitor their drug expense. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative will serve as a valuable resource during 2013 to enhance the pharmacy practice model. By using their health care workforce, particularly pharmacy technicians, in an innovative way, pharmacy directors will allow the pharmacists to increase their clinical activity. By promoting the role of the hospital pharmacist to patients, directors will help to improve patients’ understanding of their medications and increase their satisfaction with their care. Finally by changing the activities of pharmacy students in practice models, the patient care role of the pharmacist can be expanded. Through a greater understanding of the issues facing them and their effect on the operations of the pharmacy, pharmacy directors will learn effective ways to develop patient-centered pharmacy services.
doi:10.1310/hpj4805-433
PMCID: PMC3839473  PMID: 24421500
16.  A Randomized Trial Evaluating Two Approaches for Promoting Pharmacy-Based Referrals to the Tobacco Quitline: Methods and Baseline Findings 
Background
Historically, community pharmacies have not integrated tobacco cessation activities into routine practice, instead unbundling them as unique services. This approach might have limited success and viability.
Objective
The objective of this report is to describe the methods and baseline findings for a two-state, randomized trial evaluating two intervention approaches for increasing pharmacy-based referrals to their state’s tobacco quitline.
Methods
Participating community pharmacies in Connecticut (n=32) and Washington (n=32) were randomized to receive either (a) on-site education with an academic detailer, describing methods for implementing brief interventions with patients and providing referrals to the tobacco quitline, or (b) quitline materials delivered by mail. Both interventions advocated for pharmacy personnel to ask about tobacco use, advise patients who smoke to quit, and refer patients to the tobacco quitline for additional assistance with quitting. Study outcome measures include the number of quitline registrants who are referred by pharmacies (before and during the intervention period), the number of quitline materials distributed to patients, and self-reported behavior of cessation counseling and quitline referrals, assessed using written surveys completed by pharmacy personnel (pharmacists, technicians).
Results
Pharmacists (n=124) and pharmacy technicians (n=127), representing 64 participating pharmacies with equal numbers of retail chain and independently-owned pharmacies, participated in the study. Most pharmacists (67%) and half of pharmacy technicians (50%) indicated that they were “not at all” familiar with the tobacco quitline. During the baseline (pre-intervention) monitoring period, the quitline registered 120 patients (18 in CT and 102 in WA) who reported that they heard about the quitline from a pharmacy.
Conclusion
Novel tobacco intervention approaches are needed to capitalize on the community pharmacy’s frequent interface with tobacco users, and these approaches need to be evaluated to estimate their effectiveness. Widespread implementation of brief, yet feasible, pharmacy-based tobacco cessation efforts that generate referrals to a tobacco quitline could have a substantial impact on the prevalence of tobacco use.
doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2012.03.001
PMCID: PMC3428501  PMID: 22554394
Tobacco; tobacco cessation; smoking; smoking cessation; pharmacist; community pharmacy; quitline; brief intervention
17.  Pharmacists’ Recommendations to Improve Care Transitions 
The Annals of pharmacotherapy  2012;46(9):1152-1159.
Background
Increasingly, hospitals are implementing multi-faceted programs to improve medication reconciliation and transitions of care, often involving pharmacists.
Objective
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1345/aph.1Q641
PMCID: PMC3575733  PMID: 22872752
pharmacist; health literacy; care transitions; medication reconciliation; qualitative research
18.  The WHO UNESCO FIP Pharmacy Education Taskforce 
Pharmacists' roles are evolving from that of compounders and dispensers of medicines to that of experts on medicines within multidisciplinary health care teams. In the developing country context, the pharmacy is often the most accessible or even the sole point of access to health care advice and services.
Because of their knowledge of medicines and clinical therapeutics, pharmacists are suitably placed for task shifting in health care and could be further trained to undertake functions such as clinical management and laboratory diagnostics. Indeed, pharmacists have been shown to be willing, competent, and cost-effective providers of what the professional literature calls "pharmaceutical care interventions"; however, internationally, there is an underuse of pharmacists for patient care and public health efforts. A coordinated and multifaceted effort to advance workforce planning, training and education is needed in order to prepare an adequate number of well-trained pharmacists for such roles.
Acknowledging that health care needs can vary across geography and culture, an international group of key stakeholders in pharmacy education and global health has reached unanimous agreement that pharmacy education must be quality-driven and directed towards societal health care needs, the services required to meet those needs, the competences necessary to provide these services and the education needed to ensure those competences. Using that framework, this commentary describes the Pharmacy Education Taskforce of the World Health Organization, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Pharmaceutical Federation Global Pharmacy and the Education Action Plan 2008–2010, including the foundation, domains, objectives and outcome measures, and includes several examples of current activities within this scope.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-7-45
PMCID: PMC2697153  PMID: 19500351
19.  Electronic transfer of prescription-related information: comparing views of patients, general practitioners, and pharmacists. 
BACKGROUND: The National Health Service (NHS) intends to introduce a system of electronic transfer of prescription-related information between general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacies. The NHS Plan describes how this will be achieved. AIM: To gather opinions of patients, GPs, and community pharmacists on the development of a system of electronic transfer of prescription-related information between GPs and community pharmacies. DESIGN OF STUDY: Survey combining interviews, focus groups, and postal questionnaires. SETTING: General practitioners, opinion leaders, computing experts, pharmacists, and patients. Eight hundred members of the public, 200 GPs, and 200 community pharmacists, all living in Scotland. METHOD: Content-setting interviews and focus groups were conducted with purposive samples of relevant groups. Postal questionnaires were developed and sent to random samples of members of the public selected from the electoral roll, GPs, and community pharmacists. RESULTS: The corrected postal response rates were: 69% (patients); 74% (GPs); and 74% (community pharmacists). All three groups were generally supportive of electronic transfer of prescription-related information. Different aspects appealed to each group: patients anticipated improved convenience; GPs, better repeat prescribing; and pharmacists, an enhanced professional role. Security of patient-identifiable information was the main concern. All groups acknowledged potential benefits of a full primary care information system, but GPs and patients had reservations about allowing community pharmacists to access parts of the medical record that did not concern medication. CONCLUSION: Electronic transfer of prescription-related information is likely to be acceptable to all users, but concerns about patient confidentiality and an extended role for pharmacists in prescription management need to be addressed.
PMCID: PMC1314545  PMID: 14694696
20.  Interventions by pharmacists in out-patient pharmaceutical care 
Interventions by the pharmacists have always been considered as a valuable input by the health care community in the patient care process by reducing the medication errors, rationalizing the therapy and reducing the cost of therapy. The primary objective of this study was to determine the number and types of medication errors intervened by the dispensing pharmacists at OPD pharmacy in the Khoula Hospital during 2009 retrospectively. The interventions filed by the pharmacists and assistant pharmacists in OPD pharmacy were collected. Then they were categorized and analyzed after a detailed review. The results show that 72.3% of the interventions were minor of which 40.5% were about change medication order. Comparatively more numbers of prescriptions were intervened in female patients than male patients. 98.2% of the interventions were accepted by the prescribers reflecting the awareness of the doctors about the importance of the pharmacy practice. In this study only 688 interventions were due to prescribing errors of which 40.5% interventions were done in changing the medication order of clarifying the medicine. 14.9% of the interventions were related to administrative issues, 8.7% of the interventions were related to selection of medications as well as errors due to ignorance of history of patients. 8.2% of the interventions were to address the overdose of medications. Moderately significant interventions were observed in 19.4% and 7.5% of them were having the impact on major medication errors. Pharmacists have intervened 20.8% of the prescriptions to prevent complications, 25.1% were to rationalize the treatment, 7.9% of them were to improve compliance. Based on the results we conclude that the role of pharmacist in improving the health care system is vital. We recommend more number of such research based studies to bring awareness among health care professionals, provide solution to the prescription and dispensing problems, as it can also improve the documentation system, emphasize the importance of it, reduce prescribing errors, and update the knowledge of pharmacists and other health care professionals.
doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2013.04.001
PMCID: PMC3950532  PMID: 24648820
Pharmacists intervention; Pharmaceutical care; Out-patient pharmacy; Prescriptions
21.  A qualitative study exploring the impact and consequence of the medicines use review service on pharmacy support-staff 
Pharmacy Practice  2013;11(2):118-124.
Background
Pharmacy support-staff (pharmacy technicians, dispensers and Medicines Counter Assistants) support the delivery of pharmaceutical and retail functions of the pharmacy. Workflow is supervised and at times dependent upon the pharmacist’s presence. Policy makers and pharmacy’s representative bodies are seeking to extend the community pharmacist's role including requiring the pharmacist to undertake private consultations away from the dispensary and shop floor areas. However, support-staff voices are seldom heard and little is known about the impact such policies have on them.
Objective
The objective of this study is to explore the impact and consequences of the English Medicine Use Review (MUR) service on pharmacy support-staff.
Methods
Ten weeks of ethnographic-oriented observations in two English community pharmacies and interviews with 5 pharmacists and 12 support-staff. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data.
Results
Despite viewing MURs as a worthwhile activity, interviews with support-staff revealed that some felt frustrated when they were left to explain to patients why the pharmacist was not available when carrying out an MUR. Dependency on the pharmacist to complete professional and accuracy checks on prescriptions grieved dispensing staff because dispensing workflow was disrupted and they could not get their work done. Medicines Counter Assistants were observed to have less dependency when selling medicines but some still reported concerns over of customers and patients waiting for the pharmacist. A range of tacit and ad hoc strategies were consequently found to be deployed to handle situations when the pharmacist was absent performing an MUR.
Conclusions
Consideration should be given to support-staff and pharmacists’ existing work obligations when developing new pharmacy extended roles that require private consultations with patients. Understanding organisational culture and providing adequate resourcing for new services are needed to avoid improvisations or enactments by pharmacy support-staff and to allow successful innovation and policy implementation.
PMCID: PMC3798177  PMID: 24155859
Pharmacists' Aides; Pharmacists; Workflow; Community Pharmacy Services; Drug Utilization Review; Professional Practice; United Kingdom
22.  Pharmacy practice and its challenges in Yemen 
Background
Pharmacy practice in Yemen was established in 1875 in Aden.
Objectives
To describe pharmacy practice as it currently exists in Yemen, the challenges the profession faces, and to recommend changes that will improve pharmaceutical care services.
Methods
This study has two parts. Part 1 comprised a literature search performed between May and July 2011 to identify published studies on pharmacy practice in Yemen. Full text papers, abstracts, and reports in Arabic or English between 1970 and 2011 were reviewed. Part 2 consisted of a qualitative study with face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of pharmacists, staff from the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP), and patients.
Results
The analysis revealed several issues that plague pharmacy practice in Yemen:
Fewer than 10 per cent of pharmacists working in pharmacies and drug stores are graduates of governmentrecognised colleges.
Most Yemeni pharmacists are dissatisfied with their work conditions and opportunities.
Medicines are expensive and hard to access in Yemen, and counterfeit medicines are a serious problem.
Few regulations and standards exist for pharmacists and pharmaceutical care.
Pharmaceutical marketing plays an important role in marketing and selling products in Yemen.
A dearth of standards, regulations, and laws are hurting pharmacy practice in the country and potentially endangering peoples’ lives.
Conclusion
In order to improve pharmacy practice in Yemen, many changes are needed, including updating the pharmacy curriculum taught, implementing industry standards for pharmacy practice, implementing and reinforcing laws, and integrating pharmacists more fully in the healthcare industry. Additionally, the quality of the pharmacy workforce needs to be improved, and there needs to be increased awareness by the public, physicians, other healthcare professionals, and policy makers about the value of pharmacists.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2014.1890
PMCID: PMC3920470  PMID: 24567762
Pharmacy practice; workforce; satisfaction; challenges; recommendations and Yemen
23.  Prostate cancer education in the Washington, DC, area. 
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.
PMCID: PMC2594186  PMID: 12442999
24.  e-Health, m-Health and healthier social media reform: the big scale view 
Introduction
In the upcoming decade, digital platforms will be the backbone of a strategic revolution in the way medical services are provided, affecting both healthcare providers and patients. Digital-based patient-centered healthcare services allow patients to actively participate in managing their own care, in times of health as well as illness, using personally tailored interactive tools. Such empowerment is expected to increase patients’ willingness to adopt actions and lifestyles that promote health as well as improve follow-up and compliance with treatment in cases of chronic illness. Clalit Health Services (CHS) is the largest HMO in Israel and second largest world-wide. Through its 14 hospitals, 1300 primary and specialized clinics, and 650 pharmacies, CHS provides comprehensive medical care to the majority of Israel’s population (above 4 million members). CHS e-Health wing focuses on deepening patient involvement in managing health, through personalized digital interactive tools. Currently, CHS e-Health wing provides e-health services for 1.56 million unique patients monthly with 2.4 million interactions every month (August 2011). Successful implementation of e-Health solutions is not a sum of technology, innovation and health; rather it’s the expertise of tailoring knowledge and leadership capabilities in multidisciplinary areas: clinical, ethical, psychological, legal, comprehension of patient and medical team engagement etc. The Google Health case excellently demonstrates this point. On the other hand, our success with CHS is a demonstration that e-Health can be enrolled effectively and fast with huge benefits for both patients and medical teams, and with a robust business model.
CHS e-Health core components
They include:
1. The personal health record layer (what the patient can see) presents patients with their own medical history as well as the medical history of their preadult children, including diagnoses, allergies, vaccinations, laboratory results with interpretations in layman’s terms, medications with clear, straightforward explanations regarding dosing instructions, important side effects, contraindications, such as lactation etc., and other important medical information. All personal e-Health services require identification and authorization.
2. The personal knowledge layer (what the patient should know) presents patients with personally tailored recommendations for preventative medicine and health promotion. For example, diabetic patients are push notified regarding their yearly eye exam. The various health recommendations include: occult blood testing, mammography, lipid profile etc. Each recommendation contains textual, visual and interactive content components in order to promote engagement and motivate the patient to actually change his health behaviour.
3. The personal health services layer (what the patient can do) enables patients to schedule clinic visits, order chronic prescriptions, e-consult their physician via secured e-mail, set SMS medication reminders, e-consult a pharmacist regarding personal medications. Consultants’ answers are sent securely to the patients’ personal mobile device.
On December 2009 CHS launched secured, web based, synchronous medical consultation via video conference. Currently 11,780 e-visits are performed monthly (May 2011). The medical encounter includes e-prescription and referral capabilities which are biometrically signed by the physician. On December 2010 CHS launched a unique mobile health platform, which is one of the most comprehensive personal m-Health applications world-wide. An essential advantage of mobile devices is their potential to bridge the digital divide. Currently, CHS m-Health platform is used by more than 45,000 unique users, with 75,000 laboratory results views/month, 1100 m-consultations/month and 9000 physician visit scheduling/month.
4. The Bio-Sensing layer (what physiological data the patient can populate) includes diagnostic means that allow remote physical examination, bio-sensors that broadcast various physiological measurements, and smart homecare devices, such as e-Pill boxes that gives seniors, patients and their caregivers the ability to stay at home and live life to its fullest. Monitored data is automatically transmitted to the patient’s Personal Health Record and to relevant medical personnel.
The monitoring layer is embedded in the chronic disease management platform, and in the interactive health promotion and wellness platform. It includes tailoring of consumer-oriented medical devices and service provided by various professional personnel—physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians and more.
5. The Social layer (what the patient can share). Social media networks triggered an essential change at the humanity ‘genome’ level, yet to be further defined in the upcoming years. Social media has huge potential in promoting health as it combines fun, simple yet extraordinary user experience, and bio-social-feedback. There are two major challenges in leveraging health care through social networks:
a. Our personal health information is the cornerstone for personalizing healthier lifestyle, disease management and preventative medicine. We naturally see our personal health data as a super-private territory. So, how do we bring the power of our private health information, currently locked within our Personal Health Record, into social media networks without offending basic privacy issues?
b. Disease management and preventive medicine are currently neither considered ‘cool’ nor ‘fun’ or ‘potentially highly viral’ activities; yet, health is a major issue of everybody’s life. It seems like we are missing a crucial element with a huge potential in health behavioural change—the Fun Theory. Social media platforms comprehends user experience tools that potentially could break current misconception, and engage people in the daily task of taking better care of themselves.
CHS e-Health innovation team characterized several break-through applications in this unexplored territory within social media networks, fusing personal health and social media platforms without offending privacy. One of the most crucial issues regarding adoption of e-health and m-health platforms is change management. Being a ‘hot’ innovative ‘gadget’ is far from sufficient for changing health behaviours at the individual and population levels.
CHS health behaviour change management methodology includes 4 core elements:
1. Engaging two completely different populations: patients, and medical teams. e-Health applications must present true added value for both medical teams and patients, engaging them through understanding and assimilating “what’s really in it for me”. Medical teams are further subdivided into physicians, nurses, pharmacists and administrative personnel—each with their own driving incentive. Resistance to change is an obstacle in many fields but it is particularly true in the conservative health industry. To successfully manage a large scale persuasive process, we treat intra-organizational human resources as “Change Agents”. Harnessing the persuasive power of ~40,000 employees requires engaging them as the primary target group. Successful recruitment has the potential of converting each patient-medical team interaction into an exposure opportunity to the new era of participatory medicine via e-health and m-health channels.
2. Implementation waves: every group of digital health products that are released at the same time are seen as one project. Each implementation wave leverages the focus of the organization and target populations to a defined time span. There are three major and three minor implementation waves a year.
3. Change-Support Arrow: a structured infrastructure for every implementation wave. The sub-stages in this strategy include:
Cross organizational mapping and identification of early adopters and stakeholders relevant to the implementation wave
Mapping positive or negative perceptions and designing specific marketing approaches for the distinct target groups
Intra and extra organizational marketing
Conducting intensive training and presentation sessions for groups of implementers
Running conflict-prevention activities, such as advanced tackling of potential union resistance
Training change-agents with resistance-management behavioural techniques, focused intervention for specific incidents and for key opinion leaders
Extensive presence in the clinics during the launch period, etc.
The entire process is monitored and managed continuously by a review team.
4. Closing Phase: each wave is analyzed and a “lessons-learned” session concludes the changes required in the modus operandi of the e-health project team.
PMCID: PMC3571141
e-Health; mobile health; personal health record; online visit; patient empowerment; knowledge prescription
25.  The global pharmacy workforce: a systematic review of the literature 
The importance of health workforce provision has gained significance and is now considered one of the most pressing issues worldwide, across all health professions. Against this background, the objectives of the work presented here were to systematically explore and identify contemporary issues surrounding expansion of the global pharmacy workforce in order to assist the International Pharmaceutical Federation working group on the workforce.
International peer and non-peer-reviewed literature published between January 1998 and February 2008 was analysed. Articles were collated by performing searches of appropriate databases and reference lists of relevant articles; in addition, key informants were contacted. Information that met specific quality standards and pertained to the pharmacy workforce was extracted to matrices and assigned an evidence grade.
Sixty-nine papers were identified for inclusion (48 peer reviewed and 21 non-peer-reviewed). Evaluation of evidence revealed the global pharmacy workforce to be composed of increasing numbers of females who were working fewer hours; this decreased their overall full-time equivalent contribution to the workforce, compared to male pharmacists. Distribution of pharmacists was uneven with respect to location (urban/rural, less-developed/more-developed countries) and work sector (private/public). Graduates showed a preference for completing pre-registration training near where they studied as an undergraduate; this was of considerable importance to rural areas. Increases in the number of pharmacy student enrolments and pharmacy schools occurred alongside an expansion in the number and roles of pharmacy technicians. Increased international awareness and support existed for the certification, registration and regulation of pharmacy technicians and accreditation of training courses. The most common factors adding to the demand for pharmacists were increased feminization, clinical governance measures, complexity of medication therapy and increased prescriptions.
To maintain and expand the future pharmacy workforce, increases in recruitment and retention will be essential, as will decreases in attrition, where possible. However, scaling up the global pharmacy workforce is a complex, multifactorial responsibility that requires coordinated action. Further research by means of prospective and comparative methods, not only surveys, is needed into feminization; decreasing demand for postgraduate training; graduate trends; job satisfaction and the impact of pharmacy technicians; and how effective existing interventions are at expanding the pharmacy workforce. More coordinated monitoring and modelling of the pharmacy workforce worldwide (particularly in developing countries) is required.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-7-48
PMCID: PMC2706790  PMID: 19545377

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