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1.  The potential role for a pharmacist in a multidisciplinary general practitioner super clinic 
Background
The Australian government’s General Practitioner (GP) super clinics programme aims to provide well-integrated, multidisciplinary, patient-centred care for people with chronic disease. However, there is no research into the current role of pharmacists in this setting.
Aims
To explore the perspectives of GP super clinic staff on current and potential (future) pharmacist-led services provided in this setting.
Methods
Individual interviews (facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide and thematically analysed) were conducted with purposively sampled staff of a GP super clinic in a semirural location in the state of New South Wales, until theme saturation. Participating staff included (n=9): three GPs, one pharmacist, one nurse, one business manager, and three reception staff.
Results
Three themes emerged conveying perspectives on: working relationships between staff; a pharmacist’s current role; and potential future roles for a pharmacist. All clinic staff actively engaged the pharmacist in their “team approach”. Currently established roles for home medicines reviews (HMRs) and drug information were well supported, but needed to be expanded, for example, with formalised case conferences between GPs, pharmacists, and other staff. New roles needed be explored in auditing medication use, optimising medication records, specialised drug information, dispensing, and prescribing. Although GPs had differing views about opportunities for pharmacists’ prescribing in this setting, they saw several benefits to this service, such as reducing the time pressure on GPs to enable more effective consultations.
Conclusion
Results suggest a pharmacist’s services can potentially be better used within the multidisciplinary super clinic model of care to address current gaps within the semi-rural practice setting. Any future role for the pharmacist could be addressed as part of a formalised, strategic approach to creating an integrated healthcare team, with attention to funding and government legislation.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2015.2278
PMCID: PMC4354025  PMID: 25810788
super clinic; general practice; pharmacist-led services; pharmacist prescribing; home medicines review; multidisciplinary clinic
2.  An exploration of clinical interventions provided by pharmacists within a complex asthma service 
Pharmacy Practice  2015;13(1):529.
Background:
Pharmacists in Australia are accessible health care professionals, and their provision of clinical pharmacy interventions in a range of areas has been proven to improve patient outcomes. Individual clinical pharmacy interventions in the area of asthma management have been very successful. An understanding of the nature of these interventions will inform future pharmacy services. What we do not know is when pharmacists provide a complex asthma service, what elements of that service (interventions) they choose to deliver.
Objective:
To explore the scope and frequency of asthma-related clinical interventions provided by pharmacists to patients in an evidence-based complex asthma service.
Methods:
Pharmacists from 4 states/territories of Australia were trained in asthma management. People with asthma had 3 or 4 visits to the pharmacy. Guided by a structured patient file, the pharmacist assessed the patient’s asthma and management and provided interventions where and when considered appropriate, based on their clinical decision making skills. The interventions were recorded in a checklist in the patient file. They were then analysed descriptively and thematically.
Results:
Pharmacists provided 22,909 clinical pharmacy interventions over the service to 570 patients (398 of whom completed the service). The most frequently delivered interventions were in the themes ’Education on asthma’, ’Addressing trigger factors’, ’Medications - safe and effective use’ and ’Explore patient perspectives’. The patients had a high and ongoing need for interventions. Pharmacists selected interventions based on their assessment of perceived need then revisited and reinforced these interventions.
Conclusion:
Pharmacists identified a number of areas in which patients required interventions to assist with their asthma management. Many of these were perceived to require continuing reinforcement over the duration of the service. Pharmacists were able to use their clinical judgement to assess patients and provide clinical pharmacy interventions across a range of asthma management needs.
PMCID: PMC4384270  PMID: 25883692
Asthma; Pharmaceutical Services; Pharmacists; Evidence-Based Practice; Australia
3.  Using scenarios to test the appropriateness of pharmacist prescribing in asthma management 
Pharmacy Practice  2014;12(1):390.
Objective
To explore the potential for community pharmacist prescribing in terms of usefulness, pharmacists’ confidence, and appropriateness, in the context of asthma management.
Methods
Twenty community pharmacists were recruited using convenience sampling from a group of trained practitioners who had already delivered asthma services. These pharmacists were asked to complete a scenario-based questionnaire (9 scenarios) modelled on information from real patients. Pharmacist interventions were independently reviewed and rated on their appropriateness according to the Respiratory Therapeutic Guidelines (TG) by three expert researchers.
Results
In seven of nine scenarios (78%), the most common prescribing intervention made by pharmacists agreed with TG recommendations. Although the prescribing intervention was appropriate in the majority of cases, the execution of such interventions was not in line with guidelines (i.e. dosage or frequency) in the majority of scenarios. Due to this, only 47% (76/162) of the interventions overall were considered appropriate. However, pharmacists were deemed to be often following common clinical practice for asthma prescribing. Therefore 81% (132/162) of prescribing interventions were consistent with clinical practice, which is often not guideline driven, indicating a need for specific training in prescribing according to guidelines. Pharmacists reported that they were confident in making prescribing interventions and that this would be very useful in their management of the patients in the scenarios.
Conclusions
Community pharmacists may be able to prescribe asthma medications appropriately to help achieve good outcomes for their patients. However, further training in the guidelines for prescribing are required if pharmacists are to support asthma management in this way.
PMCID: PMC3955869  PMID: 24644524
Asthma; Drug Prescriptions; Community Pharmacy Services; Professional Practice; Professional Role; Patient Simulation; Australia
4.  Experiences of community pharmacists involved in the delivery of a specialist asthma service in Australia 
Background
The role of community pharmacists in disease state management has been mooted for some years. Despite a number of trials of disease state management services, there is scant literature into the engagement of, and with, pharmacists in such trials. This paper reports pharmacists’ feedback as providers of a Pharmacy Asthma Management Service (PAMS), a trial coordinated across four academic research centres in Australia in 2009. We also propose recommendations for optimal involvement of pharmacists in academic research.
Methods
Feedback about the pharmacists’ experiences was sought via their participation in either a focus group or telephone interview (for those unable to attend their scheduled focus group) at one of three time points. A semi-structured interview guide focused discussion on the pharmacists’ training to provide the asthma service, their interactions with health professionals and patients as per the service protocol, and the future for this type of service. Focus groups were facilitated by two researchers, and the individual interviews were shared between three researchers, with data transcribed verbatim and analysed manually.
Results
Of 93 pharmacists who provided the PAMS, 25 were involved in a focus group and seven via telephone interview. All pharmacists approached agreed to provide feedback. In general, the pharmacists engaged with both the service and research components, and embraced their roles as innovators in the trial of a new service. Some experienced challenges in the recruitment of patients into the service and the amount of research-related documentation, and collaborative patient-centred relationships with GPs require further attention. Specific service components, such as the spirometry, were well received by the pharmacists and their patients. Professional rewards included satisfaction from their enhanced practice, and pharmacists largely envisaged a future for the service.
Conclusions
The PAMS provided pharmacists an opportunity to become involved in an innovative service delivery model, supported by the researchers, yet trained and empowered to implement the clinical service throughout the trial period and beyond. The balance between support and independence appeared crucial in the pharmacists’ engagement with the trial. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, while useful suggestions were identified for future academic trials.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-164
PMCID: PMC3439711  PMID: 22709371
Pharmacy; Asthma; Disease management service; Experiences; Feedback

Results 1-4 (4)