Perceptions of pharmacists’ role in the health care team through student-pharmacist led point-of-care screenings and its future application in health care

Karen M Bastianelli, Lucas Nelson, Laura C Palombi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The public is largely unaware of changing pharmacy roles and continues to underutilize pharmacists as mainly a dispensing service, often overlooking direct patient care components. This paper evaluates the public perceptions of pharmacists’ through student led point-of-care screenings and comprehensive medication reviews. Methods An IRB approved longitudinal retrospective study design was used to survey participants who attended College of Pharmacy sponsored health fairs in 2013. The survey contained questions related to patient understanding of the current pharmacy scope of practice, patient's reported level of comfort with the expanding roles of pharmacy, insurance coverage, demographics, income and whom the patients report that they seek first for medical related advice. Results One hundred participants were surveyed. By a large majority, the health care practitioner that patients reported that they currently sought out for general health information was a physician. All of the participants reported that they considered pharmacists as reliable sources of general health information. Of the 96 participants that completed the survey question regarding their willingness to seek out a pharmacist in the future to have their blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and/or bone density checked, 89 (92.7%) surveyed answered yes. Only 50 patients (50%) reported being aware that pharmacists have the capability to perform these point-of-care screenings. Participants responded that they felt “comfortable” (78 patients, 83.4%) followed by “trusting” (36 patients, 38.7%). Discussion The patients surveyed recognized pharmacists as the medication experts; however, many did not understand the capacity to which pharmacists’ scope of practice allows them to deliver care to patients. In this study, almost all of the patients stated that they would consider seeking out a pharmacist to receive point-of-care screenings, but only half were aware that a pharmacist is capable of conducting these screenings. All felt that pharmacists are a reliable source of general health information and medication related needs, regardless of the patients’ education level or household income. Conclusion With the shortage of primary care providers, expansion of the scope of pharmaceutical practice is necessary. Although the public may not fully understand pharmacists’ scope of practice, they are comfortable with pharmacists’ knowledge related to general health needs outside of medications. The reported public comfort and trust of pharmacist knowledge and skills justify expanding the scope of pharmaceutical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Outreach screenings
  • Patient care
  • Patient perceptions
  • Pharmacy roles

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