Regional meetings valuable

December 14, 2010

Thanks to everyone who participated at the recent town hall meetings in Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer,  [meeting] and Edmonton. We appreciate you taking the time to help us learn more about what your issues, concerns and hopes are. 

Congratulations to Brian Abernethy of Calgary, the winner of our draw for one free registration to this May’s centennial conference at Jasper Park Lodge!

What did we hear?

Time, money, technician regulation, and expanding scopes were common discussion themes among all groups. However, opinions on the role of these factors in practice varied widely by group. 

Participants did a quick SWOT analysis of pharmacy practice as it stands today. Following is a summary of the common findings. 

Strengths: 

  • Established, positive relationships with patients 
  • Knowledgeable practitioners 
  • Great accessibility 
  • High trust and reputation
  • Practitioners want to offer good care 

Weaknesses: 

  • Access to electronic health records is cumbersome 
  • Software doesn’t support good documentation or team-based care 
  • Lack of remuneration for cognitive services 
  • Pharmacists have trained patients that care will be immediate and free
  • Pharmacy is often seen as a passive profession, accepting of less than ideal situations 

Opportunities: 

  • Patients have needs that aren’t being met elsewhere that can be met by pharmacists 
  • Patients are becoming more receptive to the idea of making appointments
  • Patients can be empowered to undertake some of their own follow up 
  • Regulated technicians can free pharmacists to spend more time with patients 
  • Technology evolving to improve workflow and patient care 
  • Have a lot of data that can be used, just needs to be collated
  • Pharmacists are being invited to participate with practitioners from other disciplines 

Threats: 

  • It may be some time before there are enough regulated technicians to impact pharmacy workflow 
  • Expectations of corporate owners may be at odds with desired pharmacy practice model 
  • Even with funding, pharmacist uptake of expanded scope may be low (as has been the case in other locations)
  • Inability to access documentation and data to make fully informed care decisions 
  • Few individual pharmacists or technicians feel empowered enough to try and change current systems

Originally published in the December 14, 2010, issue of The Link

 


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