JANUARY 2016 – Researchers at the University of Alberta are set to spend the next two years exploring how Alberta pharmacists provide patient care services under the province’s Pharmacy Services Framework. Supported by a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s Innovation Fund as well as funding from the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, the study will examine four different pharmacies that are using the framework, and provide an in-depth evaluation of how pharmacists are providing these services.
“This research will provide an opportunity to showcase what is going on in practice and how pharmacists are using the framework, as well as provide lessons for moving forward,” says Christine Hughes, one of the principal investigators. The study will include patients’ perspectives on the impact of these services as well. “We want to find out what these services have meant to them and how actively they are involved in planning their own care.”
In addition to visiting each practice site three times (including a first visit that will take place over several days), researchers will interview pharmacists, pharmacy managers, staff, patients and other healthcare providers. “We thought it was important to go deep and really understand what was going on at the practice sites,” says Hughes, noting that there will be a mix of rural and urban pharmacies, some of which will have pharmacists with additional prescribing authorization.
While the researchers are still in the process of recruiting study sites, they don’t anticipate any major challenges in finding suitable candidates. “There are some really fantastic practices out there and we’ve found that Alberta pharmacists are interested in being involved in research because they are proud of their work,” says co-principal investigator Terri Schindel. “Including four varied case studies will also give us a lot of data to compare, and to see emerging themes around the value of these services.”
The researchers expect the study results will be of value to many pharmacy stakeholders, including government. “The results will guide further application and evaluation of patient care services and development of programs to support practice change,” says Hughes.
Members of the University of Alberta research team, Pharmacy Services Framework Study
- Christine Hughes, Co-Principal Investigator, Associate Professor and Vice-Dean
- Terri Schindel, Co-Principal Investigator, Associate Clinical Professor and Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs)
- Rene Breault, Co-Investigator, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director (PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists Program)