An evaluation of the role of practice pharmacists in Australia: a mixed methods study
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Background. The need for greater collaboration between pharmacists and general practitioners in Australia facilitated the development of the practice pharmacist role. Practice pharmacists work from within general practices to provide services to patients and health professionals to improve the quality use of medications.
Objective. To explore the perceptions of Australian accredited pharmacists and pharmacists already working in general practices about current roles, facilitators and barriers, and remuneration expectations of practice pharmacists. Setting This study was conducted Australia wide.
Method. This was a two-stage study. The first stage involved a quantitative online questionnaire of accredited pharmacists whilst the second stage involved semistructured interviews with pharmacists working in general practice. Main outcome measure Pharmacists’ opinions on expected and current roles, barriers and facilitators, remuneration expectations and training requirements for practice pharmacist.
Results. A total of 65 accredited pharmacists completed the online survey and 20 practice pharmacists participated in interviews. The primary practice pharmacist roles identified included medication reviews, verifying the appropriateness of prescriptions, counselling and promoting adherence and providing education to other allied health professionals in the practice. The major facilitator identified was enhanced communication. Remuneration expectations and current working relationships were identified as main barriers.
Conclusion. The implementation of an appropriate funding model and a defined scope of role are critical to the successful implementation of the role of practice pharmacists.
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