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1.  Piloting the role of a pharmacist in a community palliative care multidisciplinary team: an Australian experience 
BMC Palliative Care  2011;10:16.
While the home is the most common setting for the provision of palliative care in Australia, a common problem encountered here is the inability of patient/carers to manage medications, which can lead to misadventure and hospitalisation. This can be averted through detection and resolution of drug related problems (DRPs) by a pharmacist; however, they are rarely included as members of the palliative care team. The aim of this study was to pilot a model of care that supports the role of a pharmacist in a community palliative care team. A component of the study was to develop a cost-effective model for continuing the inclusion of a pharmacist within a community palliative care service.
The study was undertaken (February March 2009-June 2010) in three phases. Development (Phase 1) involved a literature review; scoping the pharmacist's role; creating tools for recording DRPs and interventions, a communication and education strategy, a care pathway and evidence based patient information. These were then implemented in Phase 2. Evaluation (Phase 3) of the impact of the pharmacist's role from the perspectives of team members was undertaken using an online survey and focus group. Impact on clinical outcomes was determined by the number of patients screened to assess their risk of medication misadventure, as well as the number of medication reviews and interventions performed to resolve DRPs.
The pharmacist screened most patients (88.4%, 373/422) referred to the palliative care service to assess their risk of medication misadventure, and undertook 52 home visits. Medication reviews were commonly conducted at the majority of home visits (88%, 46/52), and a variety of DRPs (113) were detected at this point, the most common being "patient requests drug information" (25%, 28/113) and "condition not adequately treated" (22%, 25/113). The pharmacist made 120 recommendations in relation to her interventions.
Fifty percent of online survey respondents (10/20) had interacted 10 or more times with the pharmacist for advice. All felt that the pharmacist's role was helpful, improving their knowledge of the different medications used in palliative care. The six team members who participated in the focus group indicated that there were several benefits of the pharmacist's contributions towards medication screening and review.
The inclusion of a pharmacist in a community palliative care team lead to an increase in the medication-related knowledge and skills of its members, improved patients' medication management, and minimised related errors. The model of care created can potentially be duplicated by other palliative care services, although its cost-effectiveness was unable to be accurately tested within the study.
PMCID: PMC3215169  PMID: 22035160
2.  New Roles for Pharmacists in Community Mental Health Care: A Narrative Review 
Medicines are a major treatment modality for many mental illnesses, and with the growing burden of mental disorders worldwide pharmacists are ideally positioned to play a greater role in supporting people with a mental illness. This narrative review aims to describe the evidence for pharmacist-delivered services in mental health care and address the barriers and facilitators to increasing the uptake of pharmacist services as part of the broader mental health care team. This narrative review is divided into three main sections: (1) the role of the pharmacist in mental health care in multidisciplinary teams and in supporting early detection of mental illness; (2) the pharmacists’ role in supporting quality use of medicines in medication review, strategies to improve medication adherence and antipsychotic polypharmacy, and shared decision making; and (3) barriers and facilitators to the implementation of mental health pharmacy services with a focus on organizational culture and mental health stigma. In the first section, the review presents new roles for pharmacists within multidisciplinary teams, such as in case conferencing or collaborative drug therapy management; and new roles that would benefit from increased pharmacist involvement, such as the early detection of mental health conditions, development of care plans and follow up of people with mental health problems. The second section describes the impact of medication review services and other pharmacist-led interventions designed to reduce inappropriate use of psychotropic medicines and improve medication adherence. Other new potential roles discussed include the management of antipsychotic polypharmacy and involvement in patient-centered care. Finally, barriers related to pharmacists’ attitudes, stigma and skills in the care of patients with mental health problems and barriers affecting pharmacist-physician collaboration are described, along with strategies to reduce mental health stigma.
PMCID: PMC4211017  PMID: 25337943
pharmacist; mental health care; quality use of medicines; community pharmacy; service implementation
3.  An exploration of the role of pharmacists within general practice clinics: the protocol for the pharmacists in practice study (PIPS) 
Medication-related problems are a serious concern in Australian primary care. Pharmacist interventions have been shown to be effective in identifying and resolving these problems. Collaborative general practitioner-pharmacist services currently available in Australia are limited and underused. Limitations include geographical isolation of pharmacists and lack of communication and access to patient information. Co-location of pharmacists within the general practice clinics is a possible solution. There have been no studies in the Australian setting exploring the role of pharmacists within general practice clinics.
The aim of this study is to develop and test a multifaceted practice pharmacist role in primary care practices to improve the quality use of medicines by patients and clinic staff.
This is a multi-centre, prospective intervention study with a pre-post design and a qualitative component. A practice pharmacist will be located in each of two clinics and provide short and long patient consultations, drug information services and quality assurance activities. Patients receiving long consultation with a pharmacist will be followed up at 3 and 6 months. Based on sample size calculations, at least 50 patients will be recruited for long patient consultations across both sites. Outcome measures include the number, type and severity of medication-related problems identified and resolved; medication adherence; and patient satisfaction. Brief structured interviews will be conducted with patients participating in the study to evaluate their experiences with the service. Staff collaboration and satisfaction with the service will be assessed.
This intervention has the potential to optimise medication use in primary care clinics leading to better health outcomes. This study will provide data about the effectiveness of the proposed model for pharmacist involvement in Australian general practice clinics, that will be useful to guide further research and development in this area.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12612000742875
PMCID: PMC3470952  PMID: 22876813
Pharmacists; Primary healthcare; General practice; Multidisciplinary; Family practice
4.  A role for pharmacists in community-based post-discharge warfarin management: protocol for the 'the role of community pharmacy in post hospital management of patients initiated on warfarin' study 
Shorter periods of hospitalisation and increasing warfarin use have placed stress on community-based healthcare services to care for patients taking warfarin after hospital discharge, a high-risk period for these patients. A previous randomised controlled trial demonstrated that a post-discharge service of 4 home visits and point-of-care (POC) International Normalised Ratio (INR) testing by a trained pharmacist improved patients' outcomes. The current study aims to modify this previously trialled service model to implement and then evaluate a sustainable program to enable the smooth transition of patients taking warfarin from the hospital to community setting.
The service will be trialled in 8 sites across 3 Australian states using a prospective, controlled cohort study design. Patients discharged from hospital taking warfarin will receive 2 or 3 home visits by a trained 'home medicines review (HMR)-accredited' pharmacist in their 8 to 10 days after hospital discharge. Visits will involve a HMR, comprehensive warfarin education, and POC INR monitoring in collaboration with patients' general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists. Patient outcomes will be compared to those in a control, or 'usual care', group. The primary outcome measure will be the proportion of patients experiencing a major bleeding event in the 90 days after discharge. Secondary outcome measures will include combined major bleeding and thromboembolic events, death, cessation of warfarin therapy, INR control at 8 days post-discharge and unplanned hospital readmissions from any cause. Stakeholder satisfaction will be assessed using structured postal questionnaire mailed to patients, GPs, community pharmacists and accredited pharmacists at the completion of their study involvement.
This study design incorporates several aspects of prior interventions that have been demonstrated to improve warfarin management, including POC INR testing, warfarin education and home visits by trained pharmacists. It faces several potential challenges, including the tight timeframe for patient follow-up in the post-discharge period. Its strengths lie in a strong multidisciplinary team and the utilisation of existing healthcare frameworks. It is hoped that this study will provide the evidence to support the national roll-out of the program as a new Australian professional community pharmacy service.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number 12608000334303.
PMCID: PMC3040704  PMID: 21261998
5.  Randomised controlled trial of clinical medication review by a pharmacist of elderly patients receiving repeat prescriptions in general practice 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2001;323(7325):1340.
To determine whether a pharmacist can effectively review repeat prescriptions through consultations with elderly patients in general practice.
Randomised controlled trial of clinical medication review by a pharmacist against normal general practice review.
Four general practices.
1188 patients aged 65 or over who were receiving at least one repeat prescription and living in the community.
Patients were invited to a consultation at which the pharmacist reviewed their medical conditions and current treatment.
Main outcome measures
Number of changes to repeat prescriptions over one year, drug costs, and use of healthcare services.
590 (97%) patients in the intervention group were reviewed compared with 233 (44%) in the control group. Patients seen by the pharmacist were more likely to have changes made to their repeat prescriptions (mean number of changes per patient 2.2 v 1.9; difference=0.31, 95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.57; P=0.02). Monthly drug costs rose in both groups over the year, but the rise was less in the intervention group (mean difference £4.72 per 28 days, −£7.04 to −£2.41); equivalent to £61 per patient a year. Intervention patients had a smaller rise in the number of drugs prescribed (0.2 v 0.4; mean difference −0.2, −0.4 to −0.1). There was no evidence that review of treatment by the pharmacist affected practice consultation rates, outpatient consultations, hospital admissions, or death rate.
A clinical pharmacist can conduct effective consultations with elderly patients in general practice to review their drugs. Such review results in significant changes in patients' drugs and saves more than the cost of the intervention without affecting the workload of general practitioners.
What is already known on this topicReview of patients on long term drug treatment is important but is done inadequatelyEvidence from the United States shows that pharmacists can improve patient care by reviewing drug treatmentWhat this study addsConsultations with a clinical pharmacist are an effective method of reviewing the drug treatment of older patientsReview by a pharmacist results in more drug changes and lower prescribing costs than normal care plus a much higher review rateUse of healthcare services by patients is not increased
PMCID: PMC60673  PMID: 11739221
6.  Adherence: a review of education, research, practice and policy in Spain 
Pharmacy Practice  2009;7(3):125-138.
To describe medication adherence education, practice, research and policy efforts carried out by pharmacists in Spain in the last decade.
A literature review using Medline and Embase was conducted covering the last ten years. Additional pharmaceutical bibliographic sources in Spain were consulted to retrieve articles of interest from the last decade. Articles were included if a pharmacist was involved and if medication adherence was measured or there was any direct or indirect pharmacist intervention in monitoring and/or improving adherence. Articles focusing on the development of tools for adherence assessment were collected. Pre- and post-graduate pharmacy training programs were also reviewed through the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science website. Information regarding policy issues was gathered from the Spanish and Autonomous Communities of Education and Health Ministries websites.
Pharmacists receive no specific training focused on adherence. There is no specific government policies for pharmacists in Spain related to medication adherence regardless of their practice setting. A total of 24 research studies met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 10 involved pharmacist intervention in monitoring and/or improving adherence and 14 assessed only adherence. Ten studies involved hospital pharmacists working in collaboration with another healthcare professional.
At present in Spain, the investigative role of the pharmacist is not well developed in the area of medication adherence. Adherence improvement services provided to patients by pharmacists are not implemented in a systematic way. However, recent efforts to implement new initiatives in this area may provide the basis for offering new cognitive services aimed at improving patient adherence in the near future.
PMCID: PMC4139043  PMID: 25143789
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Spain
7.  Impact of a pharmacist-prepared interim residential care medication administration chart on gaps in continuity of medication management after discharge from hospital to residential care: a prospective pre- and post-intervention study (MedGap Study) 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000918.
To test the impact of a hospital pharmacist-prepared interim residential care medication administration chart (IRCMAC) on medication administration errors and use of locum medical services after discharge from hospital to residential care.
Prospective pre-intervention and post-intervention study.
One major acute care hospital and one subacute aged-care hospital; 128 residential care facilities (RCF) in Victoria, Australia.
428 patients (median age 84 years, IQR 79–88) discharged to a RCF from an inpatient ward over two 12-week periods.
Seven-day IRCMAC auto-populated with patient and medication data from the hospitals' pharmacy dispensing software, completed and signed by a hospital pharmacist and sent with the patient to the RCF.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Primary end points were the proportion of patients with one or more missed or significantly delayed (>50% of prescribed dose interval) medication doses, and the proportion of patients whose RCF medication chart was written by a locum doctor, in the 24 h after discharge. Secondary end points included RCF staff and general practitioners' opinions about the IRCMAC.
The number of patients who experienced one or more missed or delayed doses fell from 37/202 (18.3%) to 6/226 (2.7%) (difference in percentages 15.6%, 95% CI 9.5% to 21.9%, p<0.001). The number of patients whose RCF medication chart was written by a locum doctor fell from 66/202 (32.7%) to 25/226 (11.1%) (difference in percentages 21.6%, 95% CI 13.5% to 29.7%, p<0.001). For 189/226 (83.6%) discharges, RCF staff reported that the IRCMAC improved continuity of care; 31/35 (88.6%) general practitioners said that the IRCMAC reduced the urgency for them to attend the RCF and 35/35 (100%) said that IRCMACs should be provided for all patients discharged to a RCF.
A hospital pharmacist-prepared IRCMAC significantly reduced medication errors and use of locum medical services after discharge from hospital to residential care.
Article summary
Article focus
Medication administration errors are common when patients are discharged from hospital to a residential care facility (RCF). In Australia, a contributing factor is the need for the patient's primary care doctor to attend the RCF at short notice to write a medication administration chart; when the doctor cannot attend, doses may be missed or delayed and a locum doctor may be called to write a medication chart.
The objective of this study was to test the impact of a hospital pharmacist-prepared residential care medication administration chart (IRCMAC) on medication administration errors and use of locum medical services after discharge from hospital.
Key messages
Provision of a hospital pharmacist-prepared IRCMAC resulted in significant reductions in missed or delayed medication doses and use of locum medical services after discharge from hospital.
RCF staff reported that the IRCMAC improved continuity of care, and primary care doctors reported that it reduced pressure on them to attend RCFs at short notice.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This is the first study to evaluate the impact of a hospital-provided IRCMAC on medication errors or use of locum medical services. Strengths were that the two study groups were well matched in terms of demographics, ward type, number of medications and number of RCFs.
The main limitations were the use of a pre-intervention and post-intervention study design and data collection via RCF staff telephone interview. However, quantitative data on medication errors and use of locum services were validated by strongly positive feedback from RCF staff and doctors and widespread uptake and ongoing use of the IRCMAC.
PMCID: PMC3367148  PMID: 22637373
8.  Public health in community pharmacy: A systematic review of pharmacist and consumer views 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:582.
The increasing involvement of pharmacists in public health will require changes in the behaviour of both pharmacists and the general public. A great deal of research has shown that attitudes and beliefs are important determinants of behaviour. This review aims to examine the beliefs and attitudes of pharmacists and consumers towards pharmaceutical public health in order to inform how best to support and improve this service.
Five electronic databases were searched for articles published in English between 2001 and 2010. Titles and abstracts were screened by one researcher according to the inclusion criteria. Papers were included if they assessed pharmacy staff or consumer attitudes towards pharmaceutical public health. Full papers identified for inclusion were assessed by a second researcher and data were extracted by one researcher.
From the 5628 papers identified, 63 studies in 67 papers were included. Pharmacy staff: Most pharmacists viewed public health services as important and part of their role but secondary to medicine related roles. Pharmacists' confidence in providing public health services was on the whole average to low. Time was consistently identified as a barrier to providing public health services. Lack of an adequate counselling space, lack of demand and expectation of a negative reaction from customers were also reported by some pharmacists as barriers. A need for further training was identified in relation to a number of public health services. Consumers: Most pharmacy users had never been offered public health services by their pharmacist and did not expect to be offered. Consumers viewed pharmacists as appropriate providers of public health advice but had mixed views on the pharmacists' ability to do this. Satisfaction was found to be high in those that had experienced pharmaceutical public health
There has been little change in customer and pharmacist attitudes since reviews conducted nearly 10 years previously. In order to improve the public health services provided in community pharmacy, training must aim to increase pharmacists' confidence in providing these services. Confident, well trained pharmacists should be able to offer public health service more proactively which is likely to have a positive impact on customer attitudes and health.
PMCID: PMC3146877  PMID: 21777456
9.  Pharmacists’ communication with Spanish-speaking patients: a review of the literature to establish an agenda for future research 
Spanish-speaking people represent more than 12% of the total population in the United States and are poised to become the largest minority group in the U.S. by 2015. Although researchers have studied pharmacist-patient communication for approximately 30 years, little emphasis has been placed on the interactions between pharmacists and Spanish-speaking patients.
The objectives of this review are 1) to describe empirical studies on Spanish-speaking patient/pharmacist communication examined relative to patient factors, pharmacist factors, and environmental factors that may influence Spanish-speaking patient/pharmacist communication and 2) to integrate medical and nursing literature to generate a research agenda for future study in this area.
We compiled articles from a systematic review of (1) CINAHL, International Pharmacy Abstracts, Pub Med, and Web of Knowledge databases using “Hispanic limited English proficiency”, “Latino limited English proficiency”, “language-assistance services”, “Spanish-speaking patients”, “Latino patients”, “Spanish-speaking health literacy”, “pharmacy health literacy”, “patient-provider communication”, “pharmacy language barriers”, (2) bibliographies of selected articles.
This search generated 1,174 articles, 7 of which met the inclusion criteria. We categorized the results into four topic areas: “Spanish-speaking patient literacy,” “pharmacists knowledge of/proficiency in the Spanish language,” “pharmacy resources to overcome language barriers,” and “pharmacists’ attitudes towards communicating with Spanish-speaking patients.”
These studies provide a macroscopic look at the linguistic services offered in pharmacies, gaps in services, and their subsequent impact on pharmacists and patients. Future research should investigate Spanish-speaking patients’ literacy issues, pharmacy staff language skills, factors that influence pharmacists’ counseling, and language assistance programs for pharmacists and patients. Furthermore, these studies need to be conducted in large Hispanic/Latino populated areas where positive service models are likely to be present. Addressing these issues will provide pharmacists and pharmacies with information to overcome language barriers and provide Spanish-speaking patients with quality care.
PMCID: PMC2875142  PMID: 19524859
Hispanic limited English proficiency; language-assistance services; Spanish-speaking patients; patient-provider communication; pharmacy language barriers
10.  Clinical pharmacy activities in chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease patients: a systematic literature review 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:35.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) represent worldwide health problems with an epidemic extent. Therefore, attention must be given to the optimisation of patient care, as gaps in the care of CKD and ESRD patients are well documented. As part of a multidisciplinary patient care strategy, clinical pharmacy services have led to improvements in patient care. The purpose of this study was to summarise the available evidence regarding the role and impact of clinical pharmacy services for these patient populations.
A literature search was conducted using the Medline, Embase and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts databases to identify relevant studies on the impact of clinical pharmacists on CKD and ESRD patients, regarding disease-oriented and patient-oriented outcomes, and clinical pharmacist interventions on drug-related problems.
Among a total of 21 studies, only four (19%) were controlled trials. The majority of studies were descriptive (67%) and before-after studies (14%). Interventions comprised general clinical pharmacy services with a focus on detecting, resolving and preventing drug-related problems, clinical pharmacy services with a focus on disease management, or clinical pharmacy services with a focus on patient education in order to increase medication knowledge. Anaemia was the most common comorbidity managed by clinical pharmacists, and their involvement led to significant improvement in investigated disease-oriented outcomes, for example, haemoglobin levels. Only four of the studies (including three controlled trials) presented data on patient-oriented outcomes, for example, quality of life and length of hospitalisation. Studies investigating the number and type of clinical pharmacist interventions and physician acceptance rates reported a mean acceptance rate of 79%. The most common reported drug-related problems were incorrect dosing, the need for additional pharmacotherapy, and medical record discrepancies.
Few high-quality trials addressing the benefit and impact of clinical pharmacy services in CKD and ESRD patients have been published. However, all available studies reported some positive impact resulting from clinical pharmacist involvement, including various investigated outcome measures that could be improved. Additional randomised controlled trials investigating patient-oriented outcomes are needed to further determine the role of clinical pharmacists and the benefits of clinical pharmacy services to CKD and ESRD patients.
PMCID: PMC3166893  PMID: 21777480
11.  A Retrospective Evaluation of Remote Pharmacist Interventions in a Telepharmacy Service Model Using a Conceptual Framework 
Telemedicine Journal and e-Health  2014;20(10):893-901.
Objectives: This retrospective cross-sectional study evaluated a telepharmacy service model using a conceptual framework to compare documented remote pharmacist interventions by year, hospital, and remote pharmacist and across rural hospitals with or without an on-site rural hospital pharmacist. Materials and Methods: Documented remote pharmacist interventions for patients at eight rural hospitals in the Midwestern United States during prospective prescription order review/entry from 2008 to 2011 were extracted from RxFusion® database (a home-grown system, i.e., internally developed program at The Nebraska Medical Center (TNMC) for capturing remote pharmacist-documented intervention data). The study authors conceptualized an analytical framework, mapping the 37 classes of remote pharmacist interventions to three broader-level definitions: (a) intervention, eight categories (interaction/potential interaction, contraindication, adverse effects, anticoagulation monitoring, drug product selection, drug regimen, summary, and recommendation), (b) patient medication management, two categories (therapy review and action), and (c) health system-centered medication use process, four categories (prescribing, transcribing and documenting, administering, and monitoring). Frequencies of intervention levels were compared by year, hospital, remote pharmacist, and hospital pharmacy status (with a remote pharmacist and on-site pharmacist or with a remote pharmacist only) using chi-squared test and univariate logistic regression analyses, as appropriate. Results: For 450,000 prescription orders 19,222 remote pharmacist interventions were documented. Frequency of interventions significantly increased each year (36% in 2009, 55% in 2010, and 7% in 2011) versus the baseline year (2008, 3%) when service started. The frequency of interventions also differed significantly across the eight hospitals and 16 remote pharmacists for the three defined intervention levels and categories. Remote pharmacist interventions at hospitals with an on-site and remote pharmacist (n=12,141) versus those with a remote pharmacist alone (n=7,081) were significantly more likely to be (1) patient-centered, (2) related to “actionable” medication management recommendations (unadjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.12), and (3) related to the “transcribing” (OR=1.47) and “prescribing” (OR=1.40) steps of the health system-centered medication use process level (all p<0.01). Conclusions: This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the patient- and health system-centered nature of pharmaceutical care delivered via a telepharmacy service model by evaluating documented remote pharmacist interventions with an analytical framework.
PMCID: PMC4188381  PMID: 24611489
pharmacy; telemedicine; medication records; e-health; policy
12.  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.
To apply sociological theories to understand public trust in extended services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners (GPs).
Qualitative study involving focus groups with members of the public.
The West of Scotland.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3358628  PMID: 22586286
13.  Adherence: a review of education, research, practice, and policy in the United States 
Pharmacy Practice  2010;8(1):1-17.
To describe the education, research, practice, and policy related to pharmacist interventions to improve medication adherence in community settings in the United States.
Authors used MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (since 1990) to identify community and ambulatory pharmacy intervention studies which aimed to improve medication adherence. The authors also searched the primary literature using Ovid to identify studies related to the pharmacy teaching of medication adherence. The bibliographies of relevant studies were reviewed in order to identify additional literature. We searched the tables of content of three US pharmacy education journals and reviewed the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website for materials on teaching adherence principles. Policies related to medication adherence were identified based on what was commonly known to the authors from professional experience, attendance at professional meetings, and pharmacy journals.
Research and Practice: 29 studies were identified: 18 randomized controlled trials; 3 prospective cohort studies; 2 retrospective cohort studies; 5 case-controlled studies; and one other study. There was considerable variability in types of interventions and use of adherence measures. Many of the interventions were completed by pharmacists with advanced clinical backgrounds and not typical of pharmacists in community settings. The positive intervention effects had either decreased or not been sustained after interventions were removed. Although not formally assessed, in general, the average community pharmacy did not routinely assess and/or intervene on medication adherence.
National pharmacy education groups support the need for pharmacists to learn and use adherence-related skills. Educational efforts involving adherence have focused on students’ awareness of adherence barriers and communication skills needed to engage patients in behavioral change.
Several changes in pharmacy practice and national legislation have provided pharmacists opportunities to intervene and monitor medication adherence. Some of these changes have involved the use of technologies and provision of specialized services to improve adherence.
Researchers and practitioners need to evaluate feasible and sustainable models for pharmacists in community settings to consistently and efficiently help patients better use their medications and improve their health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4140572  PMID: 25152788
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Education; Pharmacy; United States
14.  Effect of reactive pharmacy intervention on quality of hospital prescribing. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1990;300(6730):986-990.
OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the medical impact of reactive pharmacy intervention. DESIGN--Analysis of all interventions during 28 days by all 35 pharmacists in hospitals in Nottingham. SETTING--All (six) hospitals in the Nottingham health authority (a teaching district), representing 2530 mainly acute beds, 781 mental illness beds, and 633 mainly health care of the elderly beds. PATIENTS--Hospital inpatients and outpatients. INTERVENTIONS--Recording of every important intervention made by pharmacists to prescriptions for both inpatients and outpatients when they perceived inadequacies of drug prescription or administration, including characterisation of the problem, coding of outcome, recording of time taken to initiate and resolve intervention, and grade of prescribing doctor. The problems were independently assessed for their potential to cause medical harm. RESULTS--769 Interventions (about 2.9% of prescriptions) were made, of which 60 concerned prescriptions rated as having a major potential for medical harm. The commonest problems concerned dosage, which was wrong in 280 prescriptions (102 for antibiotics) and not stated in 50 (one for antibiotics), especially those associated with a major potential for medical harm (32 prescriptions). These concerned sedatives; analgesics; cardiovascular drugs or diuretics; and iron, vitamin, or mineral preparations. Also common were overprolonged prescription of antibiotics (48 prescriptions), confusion of drug names (nine), and inadvertent coprescription of excessive quantities of aspirin or paracetamol in plain and compound preparations (seven). The pharmacist's recommendation was accepted in 639 instances (86%), and the prescription was altered in 575, leading to an appreciable (246 cases) or minor (231 cases) improvement. Interventions had little effect on costs; 427/646 had no effect and 130 produced savings less than 50p. Pharmacy intervention (730/769 interventions) occupied on average 41 minutes per pharmacist per week. CONCLUSIONS--Most reactive pharmacy interventions concerned prescribing errors with a limited potential for medical harm, but a small number of detected errors with a major potential for medical harm; cost savings were not appreciable.
PMCID: PMC1662701  PMID: 2344509
15.  Care Providers’ Satisfaction with Restructured Clinical Pharmacy Services in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital 
At the time this study was undertaken, clinical pharmacy services at the authors’ institution, a tertiary care teaching hospital, were largely reactive in nature, with patients and units receiving inconsistent coverage.
To develop an evidence-based model of proactive practice and to evaluate the satisfaction of pharmacists and other stakeholders after restructuring of clinical pharmacy services.
The literature was reviewed to determine a core set of pharmacist services associated with the greatest beneficial impact on patients’ health. On the basis of established staffing levels, the work schedule was modified, and pharmacists were assigned to a limited number of patient care teams to proactively and consistently provide these core services. Other patient care teams continued to receive reactive troubleshooting-based services, as directed by staff in the pharmacy dispensary. A satisfaction survey was distributed to all pharmacists, nurses, and physicians 18 months after the restructuring.
Of the 26 pharmacists who responded to the survey, all agreed or strongly agreed that the restructuring of services had improved job satisfaction and patient safety and that other health care professionals valued their contribution to patient care. Nurses and physicians from units where pharmacists had been assigned to provide proactive services perceived pharmacist services more favourably than those from units where pharmacist services were reactive. Pharmacists, nurses, and physicians all felt that proactive pharmacist services should be more widely available. Challenges reported by pharmacists included increased expectations for documentation and guilt about “cutting back” services where they had previously been provided.
Restructuring clinical pharmacy services in an evidence-based manner improved pharmacists’ satisfaction and created demand from other stakeholders to provide this level of service for all patients.
PMCID: PMC2858499  PMID: 22478965
clinical pharmacy; restructuring; tertiary care hospital; evidence-based; practice delivery; pharmacie clinique; restructuration; hôpital de soins tertiaires; données probantes; prestation de services
16.  Stakeholder experiences with general practice pharmacist services: a qualitative study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(9):e003214.
To explore general practice staff, pharmacist and patient experiences with pharmacist services in Australian general practice clinics within the Pharmacists in Practice Study.
Qualitative study.
Two general practice clinics in Melbourne, Australia, in which pharmacists provided medication reviews, patient and staff education, medicines information and quality assurance services over a 6-month period.
Patients, practice staff and pharmacists.
Semi-structured telephone interviews with patients, focus groups with practice staff and semi-structured interviews and periodic narrative reports with practice pharmacists. Data were analysed thematically and theoretical frameworks used to explain the findings.
34 participants were recruited: 18 patients, 14 practice staff (9 general practitioners, 4 practice nurses, 1 practice manager) and 2 practice pharmacists. Five main themes emerged: environment; professional relationships and integration; pharmacist attributes; staff and patient benefits and logistical challenges. Participants reported that colocation and the interdisciplinary environment of general practice enabled better communication and collaboration compared to traditional community and consultant pharmacy services. Participants felt that pharmacists needed to possess certain attributes to ensure successful integration, including being personable and proactive. Attitudinal, professional and logistical barriers were identified but were able to be overcome. The findings were explained using D'Amour's structuration model of collaboration and Roger's diffusion of innovation theory.
This is the first qualitative study to explore the experiences of general practice staff, pharmacists and patients on their interactions within the Australian general practice environment. Participants were receptive of colocated pharmacist services, and various barriers and facilitators to integration were identified. Future research should investigate the feasibility and sustainability of general practice pharmacist roles.
PMCID: PMC3773653  PMID: 24030867
Primary Care; Qualitative Research; Health Services Administration & Management
17.  Effectiveness of shared pharmaceutical care for older patients: RESPECT trial findings 
The pharmaceutical care approach serves as a model for medication review, involving collaboration between GPs, pharmacists, patients, and carers. Its use is advocated with older patients who are typically prescribed several drugs. However, it has yet to be thoroughly evaluated.
To estimate the effectiveness of pharmaceutical care for older people, shared between GPs and community pharmacists in the UK, relative to usual care.
Design of study
Multiple interrupted time-series design in five primary care trusts which implemented pharmaceutical care at 2-month intervals in random order. Patients acted as their own controls, and were followed over 3 years including their 12 months' participation in pharmaceutical care.
In 2002, 760 patients, aged ≥75 years, were recruited from 24 general practices in East and North Yorkshire. Sixty-two community pharmacies also took part. A total of 551 participants completed the study.
Pharmaceutical care was undertaken by community pharmacists who interviewed patients, developed and implemented pharmaceutical care plans together with patients' GPs, and thereafter undertook monthly medication reviews. Pharmacists and GPs attended training before the intervention. Outcome measures were the UK Medication Appropriateness Index, the Short Form–36 Health Survey (SF-36), and serious adverse events.
The intervention did not lead to any statistically significant change in the appropriateness of prescribing or health outcomes. Although the mental component of the SF-36 decreased as study participants become older, this trend was not affected by pharmaceutical care.
The RESPECT model of pharmaceutical care (Randomised Evaluation of Shared Prescribing for Elderly people in the Community over Time) shared between community pharmacists and GPs did not significantly change the appropriateness of prescribing or quality of life in older patients.
PMCID: PMC2801801  PMID: 19995493
health services for the aged; medication therapy management; pharmaceutical care; polypharmacy; randomised controlled trial
18.  The roles of community pharmacists in cardiovascular disease prevention and management 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(5):266-272.
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.
PMCID: PMC3562935  PMID: 23393519
Cardiovascular; community pharmacy; outcomes; pharmacist; primary care
19.  Effectiveness of pharmacist dosing adjustment for critically ill patients receiving continuous renal replacement therapy: a comparative study 
The impact of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) on drug removal is complicated; pharmacist dosing adjustment for these patients may be advantageous. This study aims to describe the development and implementation of pharmacist dosing adjustment for critically ill patients receiving CRRT and to examine the effectiveness of pharmacist interventions.
A comparative study was conducted in an intensive care unit (ICU) of a university-affiliated hospital. Patients receiving CRRT in the intervention group received specialized pharmacy dosing service from pharmacists, whereas patients in the no-intervention group received routine medical care without pharmacist involvement. The two phases were compared to evaluate the outcome of pharmacist dosing adjustment.
The pharmacist carried out 233 dosing adjustment recommendations for patients receiving CRRT, and 212 (90.98%) of the recommendations were well accepted by the physicians. Changes in CRRT-related variables (n=144, 61.81%) were the most common risk factors for dosing errors, whereas antibiotics (n=168, 72.10%) were the medications most commonly associated with dosing errors. Pharmacist dosing adjustment resulted in a US$2,345.98 ICU cost savings per critically ill patient receiving CRRT. Suspected adverse drug events in the intervention group were significantly lower than those in the preintervention group (35 in 27 patients versus [vs] 18 in eleven patients, P<0.001). However, there was no significant difference between length of ICU stay and mortality after pharmacist dosing adjustment, which was 8.93 days vs 7.68 days (P=0.26) and 30.10% vs 27.36% (P=0.39), respectively.
Pharmacist dosing adjustment for patients receiving CRRT was well accepted by physicians, and was related with lower adverse drug event rates and ICU cost savings. These results may support the development of strategies to include a pharmacist in the multidisciplinary ICU team.
PMCID: PMC4051794  PMID: 24940066
pharmacist interventions; drug dosing adjustment; adverse drug event; cost saving; CRRT
20.  Enhanced medication management services in the community 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(3):162-168.
Pharmacists are now receiving reimbursement by the Ontario government to do medication reviews for patients on 3 or more medications. However, they are often too busy in the community setting to thoroughly review medications with patients. Having a designated pharmacist to provide medication reviews could increase the number of reviews performed.
Step 1 involved developing a business plan to determine the number of medication reviews that needed to be done to pay a pharmacist a full-time salary. Step 2 involved establishing the core elements of medication therapy management that included medication review, a medication-related action plan, documentation and follow-up. In step 3, eligible patients were called and invited to attend an appointment to review their medications with the pharmacist. Upon completion of the medication reviews, a random group of patients were requested to complete a satisfaction survey after the medication review.
Three hundred thirty-six patients received billable medication reviews from April 4 to July 27, 2012. Twenty-seven additional visits were performed as follow-up visits. Eighty pharmaceutical opinions met the eligibility criteria for billing. Fifteen patients received counselling for smoking cessation. Medication reviews were completed for 19 patients from 8 other pharmacies. Extra revenue was generated through the sales of replacements of expired products. An average of 2.08 drug-related problems per patients was identified. One hundred percent of the patients were very satisfied with the service.
A full-time pharmacist position providing enhanced medication management services generated enough income to pay for a full-time pharmacist’s salary. The benefits to the patients were an increase in identification and resolution of drug-related problems, as well as an opportunity to receive disease state education and experience an improvement in disease states. Patients were extremely satisfied with the medication review process and the service provided to them. Can Pharm J 2013;146:162-168.
PMCID: PMC3676208  PMID: 23795201
21.  Cross-sector, sessional employment of pharmacists in rural hospitals in Australia and New Zealand: a qualitative study exploring pharmacists’ perceptions and experiences 
Many rural hospitals in Australia and New Zealand do not have an on-site pharmacist. Sessional employment of a local pharmacist offers a potential solution to address the clinical service needs of non-pharmacist rural hospitals. This study explored sessional service models involving pharmacists and factors (enablers and challenges) impacting on these models, with a view to informing future sessional employment.
A series of semi-structured one-on-one interviews was conducted with rural pharmacists with experience, or intention to practise, in a sessional employment role in Australia and New Zealand. Participants were identified via relevant newsletters, discussion forums and referrals from contacts. Interviews were conducted during August 2012-January 2013 via telephone or Skype™, for approximately 40–55 minutes each, and recorded.
Seventeen pharmacists were interviewed: eight with ongoing sessional roles, five with sessional experience, and four working towards sessional employment. Most participants provided sessional hospital services on a weekly basis, mainly focusing on inpatient medication review and consultation. Recognition of the value of pharmacists’ involvement and engagement with other healthcare providers facilitated establishment and continuity of sessional services. Funds pooled from various sources supplemented some pharmacists’ remuneration in the absence of designated government funding. Enhanced employment opportunities, district support and flexibility in services facilitated the continuous operation of the sessional service.
There is potential to address clinical pharmacy service needs in rural hospitals by cross-sector employment of pharmacists. The reported sessional model arrangements, factors impacting on sessional employment of pharmacists and learnings shared by the participants should assist development of similar models in other rural communities.
PMCID: PMC4236748  PMID: 25391333
Clinical pharmacy; Hospital; Medication management; Pharmacist; Rural; Sessional; Service models; Qualitative
22.  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.
Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes and the lack of patients reaching recommended therapeutic goals, novel models of team-based care are emerging. These teams typically include a combination of physicians, nurses, case managers, pharmacists, and community-based peer health promoters (HPs). Recent evidence supports the role of pharmacists in diabetes management to improve glycemic control, as they offer expertise in medication management with the ability to collaboratively intensify therapy. However, few studies of pharmacy-based models of care have focused on low income, minority populations that are most in need of intervention. Alternatively, HP interventions have focused largely upon low income minority groups, addressing their unique psychosocial and environmental challenges in diabetes self-care. This study will evaluate the impact of HPs as a complement to pharmacist management in a randomized controlled trial.
The primary aim of this randomized trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical pharmacists and HPs on diabetes behaviors (including healthy eating, physical activity, and medication adherence), hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, and LDL-cholesterol levels. A total of 300 minority patients with uncontrolled diabetes from the University of Illinois Medical Center ambulatory network in Chicago will be randomized to either pharmacist management alone, or pharmacist management plus HP support. After one year, the pharmacist-only group will be intensified by the addition of HP support and maintenance will be assessed by phasing out HP support from the pharmacist plus HP group (crossover design). Outcomes will be evaluated at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. In addition, program and healthcare utilization data will be incorporated into cost and cost-effectiveness evaluations of pharmacist management with and without HP support.
The study will evaluate an innovative, integrated approach to chronic disease management in minorities with poorly controlled diabetes. The approach is comprised of clinic-based pharmacists and community-based health promoters collaborating together. They will target patient-level factors (e.g., lack of adherence to lifestyle modification and medications) and provider-level factors (e.g., clinical inertia) that contribute to poor clinical outcomes in diabetes. Importantly, the study design and analytic approach will help determine the differential and combined impact of adherence to lifestyle changes, medication, and intensification on clinical outcomes.
Trial registration identifier: NCT01498159
PMCID: PMC3571948  PMID: 23088168
(3–10): Diabetes mellitus/drug therapy; Patient compliance; Patient education; Pharmacists; Community health workers
23.  Pharmacists’ Recommendations to Improve Care Transitions 
The Annals of pharmacotherapy  2012;46(9):1152-1159.
Increasingly, hospitals are implementing multi-faceted programs to improve medication reconciliation and transitions of care, often involving pharmacists.
To help delineate the optimal role of pharmacists in this context, this qualitative study assessed pharmacists’ views on their roles in hospital-based medication reconciliation and discharge counseling. We also provide pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions.
Eleven study pharmacists at two hospitals who participated in the Pharmacist Intervention for Low Literacy in Cardiovascular Disease (PILL-CVD) study completed semi-structured one-on-one interviews, which were coded systematically in NVivo. Pharmacists provided their perspectives on admission and discharge medication reconciliation, in-hospital patient counseling, provision of simple medication adherence aids (e.g., pill box, illustrated daily medication schedule), and telephone follow-up.
Pharmacists considered medication reconciliation, though time-consuming, to be their most important role in improving care transitions, particularly through detection of errors in the admission medication history that required correction. They also identified patients with poor understanding of their medications, who required additional counseling. Providing adherence aids was felt to be highly valuable for patients with low health literacy, though less useful for patients with adequate health literacy. Pharmacists noted that having trained administrative staff conduct the initial post-discharge follow-up call to screen for issues and triage which patients needed pharmacist follow-up was helpful and an efficient use of resources. Pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions included clear communication among team members, protected time for discharge counseling, patient and family engagement in discharge counseling, and provision of patient education materials.
Pharmacists are well-positioned to participate in hospital-based medication reconciliation, identify patients with poor medication understanding or adherence, and provide tailored patient counseling to improve transitions of care. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in other settings, and to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of different models of pharmacist involvement.
PMCID: PMC3575733  PMID: 22872752
pharmacist; health literacy; care transitions; medication reconciliation; qualitative research
24.  Design and Implementation of an Educational Partnership Between Community Pharmacists and Consumer Educators in Mental Health Care 
To design and implement an interactive education program to improve the skill and confidence of community pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical services to people with mental illnesses.
A literature review was conducted and key stakeholders were consulted to design a partnership that involved community pharmacists and consumer educators. The partnership was designed so that all participants shared equal status. This facilitated mutual recognition of each others' skills.
Four 2-hour training sessions were conducted over a 2-week period in March 2005. Seven pharmacists, 5 consumer educators, and 1 caregiver educator participated in the partnership. Pharmacists indicated that their participation caused them to reflect on their own medication counseling techniques. Consumer educators reported that speaking about their experiences aided their recovery.
Developing a better understanding and improved communication between community pharmacists and people with mental illnesses is an important aspect of facilitating a concordant approach to patient counseling. Implementing mental health education programs utilizing consumer educators in pharmacy schools is a promising area for further research.
PMCID: PMC1636921  PMID: 17149408
continuing education; patient counseling; community pharmacy; mental health care
25.  Is the pharmacy profession innovative enough?: meeting the needs of Australian residents with chronic conditions and their carers using the nominal group technique 
Community pharmacies are ideally located as a source of support for people with chronic conditions. Yet, we have limited insight into what innovative pharmacy services would support this consumer group to manage their condition/s. The aim of this study was to identify what innovations people with chronic conditions and their carers want from their ideal community pharmacy, and compare with what pharmacists and pharmacy support staff think consumers want.
We elicited ideas using the nominal group technique. Participants included people with chronic conditions, unpaid carers, pharmacists and pharmacy support staff, in four regions of Australia. Themes were identified via thematic analysis using the constant comparison method.
Fifteen consumer/carer, four pharmacist and two pharmacy support staff groups were conducted. Two overarching themes were identified: extended scope of practice for the pharmacist and new or improved pharmacy services. The most innovative role for Australian pharmacists was medication continuance, within a limited time-frame. Consumers and carers wanted improved access to pharmacists, but this did not necessarily align with a faster or automated dispensing service. Other ideas included streamlined access to prescriptions via medication reminders, electronic prescriptions and a chronic illness card.
This study provides further support for extending the pharmacist’s role in medication continuance, particularly as it represents the consumer’s voice. How this is done, or the methods used, needs to optimise patient safety. A range of innovative strategies were proposed and Australian community pharmacies should advocate for and implement innovative approaches to improve access and ensure continuity of care.
PMCID: PMC4282516  PMID: 25281284
Pharmacies; Nominal group technique; Prescribing; Innovation; Chronic disease; Australia

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