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Moving pharmacy practice forward

June 14, 2023
ACP’s draft Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians include notable changes.

Consultation with regulated members and other interested parties continues for ACP’s draft Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT). ACP encourages all regulated members to review the standards and provide their feedback.

When reviewing the standards, you’ll note the following key changes:

  • Organization – The draft standards are separated into eight domains that are core to pharmacy practice. These have been proposed to enhance usability of the standards and to enable changes to the standards in the future. Each domain has a statement that provides context about the standards within that domain. Each domain is divided into topics. Each topic has an outcome standard that describes the expected patient outcome that must be achieved for the standard to be met. The achievement of each outcome standard is detailed further through the inclusion of descriptive standards that provide specific details of the activities needed to achieve the required outcome. The eight domains are described in the diagram below.

  • Person-centredness – Person-centred care is at the heart of the draft standards and is foundational to every aspect of pharmacy practice. Person-centredness focuses on achieving positive health outcomes for patients by including the patient as a partner in their care.
  • Assessment – The draft SPPPT focus on patient assessment, rather than prescription assessment. Once a regulated member has conducted a patient assessment, the standards propose expectations for the care provided to the patient, including dispensing, compounding, prescribing, and injecting. These expectations emphasize the use of critical thinking by regulated members when providing care to an individual patient.
  • Evidence-based decision making – Critical appraisal and evidence-based decision making are incorporated into the standards to enable the provision of high quality care to Albertans. Evidence-based decision making refers to the ongoing process that incorporates best available evidence from research findings, clinical expertise, patient preferences, values, and circumstances to inform decisions that are made about a patient.
  • Personal services – The draft standards propose a requirement that regulated members not hold themselves out as a regulated member when providing services that fall under the Personal Health Services regulation. Schedule 19 section 3(1) or 3(2) of the Health Professions Act (HPA) defines the roles of pharmacists or pharmacy technicians in their practices, and the provision of restricted activities outside of these defined practices is not appropriate. This means that the administration of injections for aesthetic purposes is not enabled. Authorized restricted activities for regulated members and their use must be interpreted and applied in context and conjunction with these sections of the HPA. Within Canada, six provinces specifically do not authorize pharmacists to provide injections for aesthetic purposes and the remaining provinces have not enabled the practice.
  • Definition of a blood product – Proposed language clarifies that a blood product is a commercially prepared product and does not authorize the collection or use of platelet-rich plasma or other substances derived from blood that were not prepared commercially.
  • Age of administration for injections – Proposed language changes the minimum age of a patient a pharmacist can administer an injection to from age five and up to age two and up. This will further enable the important role pharmacists play in vaccination.
  • Deprescribing – The current standards do not contemplate a pharmacist’s role in deprescribing drugs. The draft standards define this activity and enable deprescribing for pharmacists with additional prescribing authorization (APA). This will help ensure patients no longer receive treatments that are not indicated.
  • Clarification of relationships – The draft SPPPT clarify the relationship between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and the roles of non-regulated staff in a pharmacy. Important is that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians may be included in a patient’s circle of care, while the role of non-regulated staff is specific to customer service.
  • Consent – The proposed standards include a comprehensive section about consent and an appendix with supporting materials. This addition is intended to help regulated members assess consent requirements and ensure that consent is properly collected from Albertans
  • Standards are applicable across all practice settings – The draft standards acknowledge institutional practice settings and emerging practice models, making the SPPPT more universal in nature.

ACP welcomes your feedback! Please review the draft SPPPT and provide your comments via the consultation. The deadline for feedback is 4:30 p.m. MT on July 12, 2023.