MAY 2016 - Patients are receptive to healthcare services from pharmacists—but the profession appears to be falling short when it comes to helping those with more complex needs.
These are among the findings of three years’ worth of research into pharmacists’ services in Ontario, conducted by the Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration (OPEN) and presented at the
Steady gains in uptake demonstrate that consumers are adapting to pharmacists’ new role, and qualitative feedback shows that accessibility is a key selling point. “We need to be proud of the fact that we’re serving large populations with these new services,” said Nancy Waite, co-lead researcher of OPEN.
Moreover, the numbers are beginning to point to improved health outcomes, such as an increased flu immunization rate.
However, Waite also spoke candidly of the “elephant in the room,” that being the operational and other challenges that get in the way of pharmacists’ own uptake as providers of expanded services. Claims data for MedsCheck reviews, for example, reveal that “pharmacy is really missing the opportunity to reach complex, vulnerable, high-needs patients,” said Waite.
To help pharmacists and pharmacy head offices overcome the challenges, future research can do more to address areas such as quality improvement, change management and reimbursement models, she added.
To that end, CFP’s own Innovation Fund supports initiatives that improve health outcomes and serve to help advance the profession. Several recent grant recipients were guests at the Gala, including: