Patients with hypertension continue to have less than optimal blood pressure control, with nearly one in five Canadian adults having hypertension. Pharmacist prescribing is gaining favor as a potential clinically efficacious and cost-effective means to improve both access and quality of care. With Alberta being the first province in Canada to have independent prescribing by pharmacists, it offers a unique opportunity to evaluate outcomes in patients who are prescribed antihypertensive therapy by pharmacists.
The study is a randomized controlled trial of enhanced pharmacist care, with the unit of randomization being the patient. Participants will be randomized to enhanced pharmacist care (patient identification, assessment, education, close follow-up, and prescribing/titration of antihypertensive medications) or usual care. Participants are patients in rural Alberta with undiagnosed/uncontrolled blood pressure, as defined by the Canadian Hypertension Education Program. The primary outcome is the change in systolic blood pressure between baseline and 24 weeks in the enhanced-care versus usual-care arms. There are also three substudies running in conjunction with the project examining different remuneration models, investigating patient knowledge, and assessing health-resource utilization amongst patients in each group.
To date, one-third of the required sample size has been recruited. There are 15 communities and 17 pharmacists actively screening, recruiting, and following patients. This study will provide high-level evidence regarding pharmacist prescribing.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of pharmacists on patient outcomes. To capitalize on these positive impacts, hospital pharmacy organizations around the world are now calling on pharmacists to shift their focus from distribution of medications to patient outcomes. This new emphasis is consistent with the vision statement for the profession of pharmacy in Canada, as set out in the Blueprint for Pharmacy: “Optimal drug therapy outcomes for Canadians through patient-centred care”. Given the ambitious nature of this statement and these goals, it is essential to understand what pharmacists currently think of their practice.
To conduct a qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of hospital pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in patient care.
A researcher posing as a University of Alberta student who was studying how health professionals use language to describe what they do contacted the pharmacy departments of all hospitals in Alberta. The “top-of-mind” approach was used in asking hospital pharmacists 2 questions: (1) How many years have you been practising pharmacy? (2) In 3 or 4 words (or phrases), from your perspective could you please tell me, “What does a pharmacist do”? These techniques were used to minimize the impact of social desirability bias. Content analysis was used to categorize hospital pharmacists’ responses into 4 broad categories: patient-centred, drug-focused, drug distribution, and ambiguous.
A total of 103 phone calls were made to hospital pharmacies, and 85 pharmacists contacted in this way were willing to participate in the survey. Hospital pharmacists provided 333 individual responses to the question about their activities. Of these, 79 (23.7%) were patient-centred, 98 (29.4%) were drug-focused, and 82 (24.6%) were in the drug-distribution category. Ambiguous responses accounted for the remaining 74 (22.2%).
Aspects of care categorized as other than patient-centred should not be construed as unimportant. However, the fact that they were reported in this survey more frequently than patient-centred aspects suggests that hospital pharmacists in Alberta may have not fully embraced the concept of patient-centred care as outlined in the Blueprint for Pharmacy.
patient-centred; drug-focused; drug distribution; top-of-mind approach; hospital pharmacist; pharmacy culture; pratique axée sur le patient; pratique axée sur les médicaments; distribution des médicaments; analyse des réponses spontanées; pharmacien d’hôpital; culture de la pharmacie
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
To enhance the quality of patient care, the former Calgary Health Region (now part of Alberta Health Services) works continuously to improve pharmacy clinical services and to plan and implement new programs and services. Patient satisfaction is an important indicator of patients’ perception of the value of services provided.
To determine the baseline prevalence of patients admitted to the former Calgary Health Region with complex and high-risk medication needs who recalled speaking to a pharmacist during their hospital stay and their reported satisfaction with those interactions.
A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted by means of a telephone survey of patients shortly after discharge. Patients were asked whether they recalled speaking with a pharmacist during their last stay in the hospital. Patients who recalled such interactions were asked to rate pharmacy services on a 5-point scale.
Of 1200 patients who were discharged from hospital in June 2007 and who were contacted by telephone 2 months later, 400 patients agreed to participate in the survey; 3 of these patients were subsequently excluded. Of the 397 respondents included in the analysis, 83 (20.9%) recalled speaking to a pharmacist. Most of these rated the interaction favourably, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.4 out of 5.
The Pharmacy Department of the former Calgary Health Region now has baseline frequency and satisfaction data for this indicator of service value, which can be used as comparators for future assessments of service value.
patient satisfaction; pharmacist clinical coverage; clinical pharmacy services; satisfaction des patients; présence clinique des pharmaciens; services de pharmacie clinique
Collaborative working relationships (CWRs) between community pharmacists and physicians may foster the provision of medication therapy management services, disease state management, and other patient care activities; however, pharmacists have expressed difficulty in developing such relationships. Additional work is needed to understand the specific pharmacist-physician exchanges that effectively contribute to the development of CWR. Data from successful pairs of community pharmacists and physicians may provide further insights into these exchange variables and expand research on models of professional collaboration.
To describe the professional exchanges that occurred between community pharmacists and physicians engaged in successful CWRs, using a published conceptual model and tool for quantifying the extent of collaboration.
A national pool of experts in community pharmacy practice identified community pharmacists engaged in CWRs with physicians. Five pairs of community pharmacists and physician colleagues participated in individual semistructured interviews, and 4 of these pairs completed the Pharmacist-Physician Collaborative Index (PPCI). Main outcome measures include quantitative (ie, scores on the PPCI) and qualitative information about professional exchanges within 3 domains found previously to influence relationship development: relationship initiation, trustworthiness, and role specification.
On the PPCI, participants scored similarly on trustworthiness; however, physicians scored higher on relationship initiation and role specification. The qualitative interviews revealed that when initiating relationships, it was important for many pharmacists to establish open communication through face-to-face visits with physicians. Furthermore, physicians were able to recognize in these pharmacists a commitment for improved patient care. Trustworthiness was established by pharmacists making consistent contributions to care that improved patient outcomes over time. Open discussions regarding professional roles and an acknowledgment of professional norms (ie, physicians as decision makers) were essential.
The findings support and extend the literature on pharmacist-physician CWRs by examining the exchange domains of relationship initiation, trustworthiness, and role specification qualitatively and quantitatively among pairs of practitioners. Relationships appeared to develop in a manner consistent with a published model for CWRs, including the pharmacist as relationship initiator, the importance of communication during early stages of the relationship, and an emphasis on high-quality pharmacist contributions.
Pharmacists; Physicians; Collaborative working relationships; Pharmacist-physician collaborative index; Community
Alterations in pharmacy practice from prescription dispensing to more patient-centered relationship intensifies the necessity of clinical decision-making. Pharmacists’ knowledge as well as ethical reasoning affects their clinical decision-making. Unfortunately in Iran pharmacy ethics did not develop along with medical ethics and special considerations are of major importance. The study was designed to evaluate pharmacists’ attitude toward some principles of bioethics.
A cross-sectional survey was performed on a sample of Iranian pharmacists attended in continuous education programs in 2010. Based on the pharmacists’ attitude toward common ethical problems, 9 Likert-type scale scenarios were designed. A thousand pharmacists were surveyed and 505 questionnaires were filled. For the whole questionnaire the strongly disagree answer was the most ethical answer. On a scale from 1–5 on which 5=strongly disagree, the total score of pharmacists ethical attitude was 17.69 ± 3.57. For easier analysis we considered the score of 1 for agree and strongly agree answers, score of 2 for neutral answers and score of 3 for disagree and strongly disagree answers. The total score in confidentiality for all participants was 4.15 ± 1.45 out of 9, in autonomy 6.25 ± 1.85 out of 9, in non-maleficence 5.14 ± 1.17 out of 6 and in justice was 2.27 ± 0.89 out of 3, however there was no significant difference between men and women in the total score and the score of each theme. The older participants (> 40 years) significantly had lower total score (P< 0.05) as well as the score of each theme (P< 0.05), except for non-maleficence. The work experience showed impact on the pharmacists’ attitude toward autonomy and the participants with more than 5 years work experience significantly obtained lower score in this theme.
Compiling ethical guidelines and improving pharmacy ethics curriculum is highly critical to provide the best pharmaceutical care and to make clinical decisions in critical situations. Therefore further quantitative and qualitative investigations into finding pitfalls and challenges in this issue are highly recommended.
Pharmacy ethics; Ethical attitude; Confidentiality; Autonomy
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
To explore pharmacists’ beliefs, practices, and experiences regarding opioid dispensing.
The province of Ontario.
A total of 1011 pharmacists selected from the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ registration list.
Main outcome measures
Pharmacists’ experiences with opioid-related adverse events (intoxication and aberrant drug-related behaviour) and their interactions with physicians.
A total of 652 pharmacists returned the survey, for a response rate of 64%. Most (86%) reported that they were concerned about several or many of their patients who were taking opioids; 36% reported that at least 1 patient was intoxicated from opioids while visiting their pharmacies within the past year. Reasons for opioid intoxication included the patient taking more than prescribed (84%), the patient using alcohol or sedating drugs along with the opioid (69.9%), or the prescribed dose being too high (34%). Participants’ most common concerns in the 3 months before the survey were patients coming in early for prescription refills, suspected double-doctoring, and requests for replacement doses for lost medication (reported frequently by 39%, 12%, and 16% of respondents, respectively). Pharmacists were concerned about physician practices, such as prescribing benzodiazepines along with opioids. Pharmacists reported difficulty in reaching physicians directly by telephone (43%), and indicated that physicians frequently did not return their calls promptly (28%). The strategies rated as most helpful for improving opioid dispensing were a provincial prescription database and opioid prescribing guidelines.
Pharmacists commonly observe opioid intoxication and aberrant drug-related behaviour in their patients but have difficulty communicating their concerns to physicians. System-wide strategies are urgently needed to improve the safety of opioid prescribing and to enhance communication between physicians and pharmacists.
Nonprescription drug therapy is tightly woven into the fabric of American health care. Market forces are expected to contribute to significant expansion of nonprescription drug use. Consumers place high value on nonprescription drug therapy; however, self-medicating patients frequently need assistance from a learned intermediary to assure optimal integration of nonprescription drug therapy into the total care regimen. Pharmacist-assisted self-care holds vast potential to serve the public interest, but this expanded practice role will require higher levels of professional practice commitment by American pharmacy. That commitment must be supported by practice-relevant, competency-based, patient-centered college and school of pharmacy curricula and continuing education that assures perpetual intellectual proficiency in nonprescription drug pharmacotherapy. That knowledge and competency must be integrated holistically into the total mix of patient comorbidity and polypharmacy. The pharmacist-assisted self-care business and professional practice model must be further facilitated by state and national pharmacy organizations, chain and independent community pharmacy, pharmacy wholesalers, and others. Consumers await expanded and differentiated pharmacy-based, pharmacist-provided medication therapy management services focused on the safe, appropriate, and effective selection, use, and monitoring of nonprescription drugs therapy.
self-care; nonprescription medication; curriculum
The purpose of this study was to validate previously published satisfaction scales in larger and more diversified patient populations; to expand the number of community pharmacies represented; to test the robustness of satisfaction measures across a broader demographic spectrum and a variety of health conditions; to confirm the three-factor scale structure; to test the relationships between satisfaction and consultation practices involving pharmacists and pharmacy students; and to examine service gaps and establish plausible norms.
Patients completed a 15-question survey about their expectations regarding pharmaceutical care-related activities while shopping in any pharmacy and a parallel 15 questions about their experiences while shopping in this particular pharmacy. The survey also collected information regarding pharmaceutical care consultation received by the patients and brief demographic data.
A total of 628 patients from 55 pharmacies completed the survey. The pilot study’s three-factor satisfaction structure was confirmed. Overall, satisfaction measures did not differ by demographics or medical condition, but there were strong and significant store-to-store differences and consultation practice advantages when pharmacists or pharmacists-plus-students participated, but not for consultations with students alone.
Patient satisfaction can be reliably measured by surveys structured around pharmaceutical care activities. The introduction of pharmaceutical care in pharmacies improves patient satisfaction. Service gap details indicated that pharmacy managers need to pay closer attention to various consultative activities involving patients and doctors.
patient expectations; patient experiences; advanced pharmacy practice experience; medication management
University-based continuing education (CE) fulfills an important role to support the professional development of pharmacists, advance the practice of pharmacy, and contribute to societal needs for research and healthcare services. Opportunities for pharmacists to engage in new models of patient care are numerous worldwide, particularly as pharmacists’ scope of practice has expanded. Approaches to CE have changed to address the changing needs of pharmacists and now include a variety of approaches to support development of knowledge and skills. There is emphasis on the learning process as well as the knowledge, with the introduction of the concept of continuing professional development (CPD).
As institutions of research and education, universities are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between academic and practice environments, providing opportunities for translation of knowledge to practice. The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta is a provider of CE in Alberta, Canada, where an expanded scope of pharmacy practice includes prescribing, administering injections, accessing electronic patient records, and ordering laboratory tests. In this paper, the Faculty offers views about future directions for CE, including the integration of CE with core faculty activities, expanding the audience for CE, areas of focus for learning, and partnerships. Finally, we hope to ignite dialogue with others in the profession about the role and function of university-based CE.
continuing education; professional development; continuing professional development; universities
To evaluate University of Alberta staff and students’ acceptance of and satisfaction with receiving influenza vaccinations from student pharmacists during the university’s annual influenza campaign.
Material and methods:
A patient survey was created to collect patient demographics, influenza history and feedback on the services provided by pharmacy students and to measure willingness to receive vaccinations from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy. The 13-question survey was distributed to patients who received an influenza vaccination from a student pharmacist during the influenza campaign.
A total of 1555 staff and students completed the satisfaction survey. Almost all (n = 1533, 99%) survey participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by student pharmacists. A total of 1437 (92%) participants agreed or strongly agreed that based on this experience, they would be willing to receive vaccinations from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy and 1526 (98%) participants rated their overall experience at the flu clinic as very good or excellent.
Positive responses to the survey suggest that University of Alberta staff and students are satisfied with the service provided by student pharmacists. Their willingness to receive vaccines from a pharmacist in a community pharmacy highlighted public acceptance of the expanding role of pharmacists as immunizers.
Pharmaceutical care signifies a shift of practice in pharmacy from being drug product-oriented to the one that is patient-oriented to achieve definite outcomes that improves patients’ quality of life. In order to achieve pharmaceutical care, pharmacists have to assume the role of caregiver, communicator, decision-maker, teacher, researcher, life-long learner, leader, and manager, which will help him to provide individualized care. As the patients visit community pharmacists more often, they can play a major role in providing individual care to the patients especially in the management of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Community pharmacists have to upgrade their expertise in drug product orientation to that of clinical orientation to provide patient oriented care. Hence pharmacists have a larger role to play in managing NCDs which are rapidly increasing in India.
Burden of disease; noncommunicable diseases; pharmaceutical care
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.
Today there are significant gaps between reaching the goal of “optimal medication therapy” and the current state of medication use in the United States. Pharmacists are highly accessible and well-trained—yet often underutilized—key health care professionals who can move us closer toward achieving better medication therapy outcomes for patients. Diabetes medication management programs led by pharmacists are described. This is consistent with the “medical home” concept of care that promotes primary care providers working collaboratively to coordinate patient-centered care. Pharmacists utilize their clinical expertise in monitoring and managing diabetes medication plans to positively impact health outcomes and empower patients to actively manage their health. In addition, pharmacists can serve as a resource to other health care providers and payers to assure safe, appropriate, cost-effective diabetes medication use.
collaborative drug-therapy management; diabetes management; medication therapy management; pharmacists; role of pharmacists
To define the role and education of the traditional pharmacist who supports the needs of the veterinarian (hereafter referred to as veterinary pharmacist) and a pharmacist who practices solely in veterinary pharmacy (here after referred to as veterinary pharmacy specialist).
The Delphi technique involving 7 panels of 143 experts was employed to reach consensus on the definition of the roles and education of the veterinary pharmacist and veterinary pharmacy specialist.
The veterinary pharmacy specialist's role included dispensing medications, complying with regulations, advocating for quality therapeutic practices, and providing consultative services, research, and education. The perceived role of the veterinary pharmacist was viewed as being somewhat narrower. Compared to veterinary pharmacists, a more in-depth education in veterinary medicine was viewed as essential to the role development of veterinary pharmacy specialists.
The authors hope their research will promote widespread awareness of the emerging field of veterinary pharmacy and encourage schools to offer increased access to clinically relevant professional training programs.
veterinary pharmacy; Delphi; role; education; research method; curriculum
There is ample evidence in the international literature for pharmacist involvement in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) conditions in primary care. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have confirmed the significant clinical benefits of pharmacist interventions for a range of CVD conditions and risk factors. Evidence generated in research studies of Australian community pharmacist involvement in CVD prevention and management is summarised in this article.
Commonwealth funding through the Community Pharmacy Agreements has facilitated research to establish the feasibility and effectiveness of new models of primary care involving community pharmacists. Australian community pharmacists have been shown to effect positive clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes in patients with CVD conditions. Improvements in blood pressure, lipid levels, medication adherence and CVD risk have been demonstrated using different study designs. Satisfaction for GPs, pharmacists and consumers has also been reported. Perceived ‘turf‘ encroachment, expertise of the pharmacist, space, time and remuneration are challenges to the implementation of disease management services involving community pharmacists.
Cardiovascular; community pharmacy; outcomes; pharmacist; primary care
To investigate the dispensing behavior of pharmacists in retail pharmacy practice and to assess their attitude toward dispensing non-OTC drugs and scrutinize the causes of their malpractice; if in fact was perceived.
Between December 2010 and January 2011 retail pharmacies in Jeddah-KSA were visited randomly by a number of voluntary collaborators who played the role of asking for one or more of the following medications without providing a prescription: Co-amoxiclav (Augmentin) or Cefaclor (Ceclor), Captopril (Capoten) and Fluoxetine (Prozac).
A total of 60 pharmacies were randomly included in this study; 100% of the pharmacists working were male, 96.7% of them were non-Saudis and only 2 (3.3%) were Saudis. In a total of 119 drug requests, almost all pharmacists (97.9%) handed out the antibiotic immediately, 100% dispensed captopril and 89.5% gave the antipsychotic simply by following the collaborator’s request without even asking for a doctor’s prescription. In the second part of the study (where a mini-questionnaire is administered), 85% of the pharmacists agreed to answer the mini-questionnaire, and 15% refused to participate. The highest reason given for their wrongdoing, was for that if the pharmacist did not, others – of neighboring pharmacies – would do the same, followed by that there is no available OTC list.
The study confirmed that pharmacists are still violating the law, which is leading to a profound malpractice in retail pharmacies around the country. Consequently, regulations should be reviewed and structured educational campaigns are a must to both pharmacists and public. The OTC list should be generated, implemented, and monitored by Saudi regulators and penalize violators.
Medications; Dispensing; Non-OTC drugs; Without prescription; Saudi Arabia; Jeddah
Background: This research explores how perceptions of head office commitment to quality-related event (QRE) reporting differ between pharmacy staff type and between pharmacies with high and low QRE reporting and learning performance. QREs include known, alleged or suspected medication errors that reach the patient as well as medication errors that are intercepted prior to dispensing.
Methods: A survey questionnaire was mailed in the spring of 2010 to 427 pharmacy managers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Nova Scotia. Nonparametric statistics were used to determine differences based on pharmacy staff type and pharmacy performance. Content analysis was used to analyze the responses to open-ended survey questions.
Results: A total of 210 surveys were returned, for a response rate of 49.2%. However, the current study used only the subgroup of pharmacy staff who self-reported working at a chain pharmacy, for a total of 124 usable questionnaires. The results showed that community pharmacies viewed head office commitment to QRE reporting as an area to improve. In general, high-performing pharmacies ranked head office commitment higher than low-performing pharmacies.
Discussion: One possible reason why high-performing pharmacies ranked the variables higher may be that increased levels of head office support for QRE processes have led these pharmacies to adopt and commit to QRE processes and thus increase their performance.
Conclusion: Demonstrated commitment to QRE reporting, ongoing encouragement and targeted messages to staff could be important steps for head office to increase QRE reporting and learning in community pharmacies.
The present study was conducted to assess the attitudes and behaviors of practicing community pharmacists towards patient counselling and use of patient information leaflets in the state of Karnataka. Convenient sampling method was adopted to collect the responses with the help of self-completion questionnaires. A total of 258 practicing community pharmacists in the age group of 22–60 y of both gender with practicing experience of 2-30 y participated in the study. Majority of respondents (80%) agreed that, patient counselling is their professional obligation. About 17% of the respondents mentioned that, they try to give basic information regarding drug usage to the patient. The reasons stated by the pharmacists to provide patient counselling were, professional satisfaction (43%), patients go with satisfaction (32%), observed increase in sales (8%), and also improved patient compliance (7.5%). The major barriers for offering patient counselling were mentioned as pharmacists' inadequate knowledge and confidence (78%), doctor dispensing (72%), no professional fee (56%), poor response from patients (82%), inadequate continuous professional development programs (75%). Many respondents agreed that, patient information leaflets certainly help in counselling but available information leaflets are company generated and prescriber focused. Many respondents found the present continuing professional development module was useful and are interested in weekend workshops to update their professional knowledge (83%). Restrictions on doctor dispensing, legalization of patient counselling, regular continuing professional development programs are the factors observed to motivate the pharmacists to offer patient counselling.
Attitudes and behaviors; community pharmacists; patient counseling; patient information leaflets
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.
Pharmacies are venues in which patients seek out products and professional advice in order to improve overall health. However, many pharmacies in the United States continue to sell tobacco products, which are widely known to cause detrimental health effects. This conflict presents a challenge to pharmacists, who are becoming increasingly more involved in patient health promotion activities. This study sought to assess Western New York (WNY) area pharmacists’ opinions about the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, and pharmacists’ opinions on their role in patient smoking cessation.
Participants responded to two parallel surveys; a web-based survey was completed by 148 university-affiliated pharmacist preceptors via a list based sample, and a mail-based survey was completed by the supervising pharmacist in 120 area pharmacies via a list-based sample. The combined response rate for both surveys was 31%. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to determine any significant differences between the preceptor and supervising pharmacist survey groups.
Over 75% of respondents support legislation banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. Over 86% of respondents would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products. Differences between preceptor and supervising pharmacist groups were observed. Action regarding counseling patients was uncommon among both groups.
Pharmacists support initiatives that increase their role in cessation counseling and initiatives that restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. These data could have important implications for communities and pharmacy practice.
Tobacco sales; Pharmacists; Preceptors; Public health policy; Survey research; Pharmacies
The roles of pharmacists have evolved from product oriented, dispensing of medications to more patient-focused services such as the provision of pharmaceutical care. Such pharmacy service is also becoming more widely practised in Malaysia but is not well documented. Therefore, this study is warranted to fill this information gap by identifying the types of pharmaceutical care issues (PCIs) encountered by primary care patients with diabetes mellitus, hypertension or hyperlipidaemia in Malaysia.
This study was part of a large controlled trial that evaluated the outcomes of multiprofessional collaboration which involved medical general practitioners, pharmacists, dietitians and nurses in managing diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia in primary care settings. A total of 477 patients were recruited by 44 general practitioners in the Klang Valley. These patients were counselled by the various healthcare professionals and followed-up for 6 months.
Of the 477 participants, 53.7% had at least one PCI, with a total of 706 PCIs. These included drug-use problems (33.3%), insufficient awareness and knowledge about disease condition and medication (20.4%), adverse drug reactions (15.6%), therapeutic failure (13.9%), drug-choice problems (9.5%) and dosing problems (3.4%). Non-adherence to medications topped the list of drug-use problems, followed by incorrect administration of medications. More than half of the PCIs (52%) were classified as probably clinically insignificant, 38.9% with minimal clinical significance, 8.9% as definitely clinically significant and could cause patient harm while one issue (0.2%) was classified as life threatening. The main causes of PCIs were deterioration of disease state which led to failure of therapy, and also presentation of new symptoms or indications. Of the 338 PCIs where changes were recommended by the pharmacist, 87.3% were carried out as recommended.
This study demonstrates the importance of pharmacists working in collaboration with other healthcare providers especially the medical doctors in identifying and resolving pharmaceutical care issues to provide optimal care for patients with chronic diseases.
Pharmaceutical care; Pharmacist; Chronic disease; Intervention; Drug-related problem
Although oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) are an essential element of therapy for the management of type 2 diabetes, OHA adherence is often suboptimal. Pharmacists are increasingly being integrated into primary care as part of the move towards a patient-centered medical home and may have a positive influence on medication use. We examined whether the presence of pharmacists in primary care clinics was associated with higher OHA adherence.
This retrospective cohort study analyzed 280,603 diabetes patients in 196 primary care clinics within the Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Pharmacists presence, number of pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs), and the degree to which pharmacy services are perceived as a bottleneck in each clinic were obtained from the 2007 VA Clinical Practice Organizational Survey—Primary Care Director Module. Patient-level adherence to OHAs using medication possession ratios (MPRs) were constructed using refill data from administrative pharmacy databases after adjusting for patient characteristics. Clinic-level OHA adherence was measured as the proportion of patients with MPR >= 80%. We analyzed associations between pharmacy measures and clinic-level adherence using linear regression.
We found no significant association between pharmacist presence and clinic-level OHA adherence. However, adherence was lower in clinics where pharmacy services were perceived as a bottleneck.
Pharmacist presence, regardless of the amount of FTE, was not associated with OHA medication adherence in primary care clinics. The exact role of pharmacists in clinics needs closer examination in order to determine how to most effectively use these resources to improve patient-centered outcomes including medication adherence.
Pharmacist; Medication adherence; Diabetes mellitus; Oral hypoglycemic agent; Patient-centered medical home
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