Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

Patients in Alberta value care plans

Researchers Christine Hughes (left), Terri Schindel, Rene Brault

SEPTEMBER 2018—Pharmacists across the country have looked to Alberta’s scope of practice and payment schedule for pharmacy services as the gold standard in the profession. So it was fitting that researchers Christine Hughes, Terri Schindel and Rene Breault set out to determine exactly how Alberta pharmacists are providing care under this framework, and how patients are experiencing care planning services in the “real world.”

With funding from the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy (CFP) and the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA), the investigators conducted 83 interviews and 94 hours of observation to explore the value of Alberta’s publicly funded care plans to patients, pharmacists, other healthcare providers and policy makers.

Interviewed patients not only appreciated having immediate access to the service, they also valued the sharing of health information. But the results showed that patients were generally unaware of care planning services until approached by a pharmacist.

Interviewed healthcare providers and other stakeholders, including policy makers, noted similar perceptions of the value of pharmacist-driven care plans. “I think this research complements other work looking at medication management services in Canada,” says Hughes, Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta. “It really helps us understand patient perceptions of value, which is useful when considering expansion of these services.”

For more details on the study, check out CFP’s annual Changing Face of Pharmacy report, coming out in October.