Objectives: To describe characteristics of community pharmacists' current practice environments and pharmacists perceptions' about aspects of their work environments. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Community pharmacies (independent, chain, mass merchandiser, and supermarket pharmacies) in the United States. Participants: 1,564 actively practicing pharmacists. Intervention: Mailed survey from the 2004 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey, which included core content questions for all sampled pharmacists and supplemental surveys that included workplace questions for a selected subsample of pharmacists. Main Outcome Measures: Hours the pharmacy was open; staffing; workload, perceptions of workload, and impact of the current workload on them and their work; equipment and technology available and used; and impact of equipment and technology at the practice site. Responses were compared with those from the 2000 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey. Results: Hours of operation varied across practice settings in 2004 and were similar to those reported in 2000. Pharmacist and technician staffing varied somewhat across settings, but overall pharmacists were working with more technicians in 2004 compared with 2000. The number of prescriptions personally dispensed daily (personal workload) increased for pharmacists in all practice settings from 2000 to 2004. When pharmacists reported the impact of their current workload, motivation to work at the pharmacy and job satisfaction were rated most positive, and opportunity to take adequate breaks were rated most negative. Equipment used for facilitating the dispensing process was more common in pharmacies than equipment related to patient care activities. More than one half of pharmacists reported that equipment and technology increased their level of productivity, quality of care, financial performance, and job satisfaction in the pharmacy. Conclusion: Pharmacists' work environments tend to be oriented toward traditional dispensing roles and activities. Staff, equipment, and information technology resources are available to facilitate both dispensing and patient care activities, and these resources have increased productivity, quality of care, and pharmacists' satisfaction.
- Medication therapy management
- National Pharmacist Workforce Survey
- Pharmacy technicians