Objectives: To describe pharmacists' work activities in the United States during 2004 in terms of (1) the desired amount of time they would like to spend in each of four work activities (medication dispensing, consultation, business management, drug use management), (2) the amount of time they actually spend in each activity, and (3) the gaps between desired and actual time reported in each activity. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Pharmacies (community chain, community independent, hospital, and other) in the United States. Participants: 1,564 actively practicing pharmacists. Intervention: Mailed survey from portions of the 2004 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey. Main Outcome Measures: Differences between desired and actual time spent in work activities in medication dispensing, consultation, business management, and drug use management and the associations between practice setting characteristics and demographic variables were explored using linear and logistic regression analyses. Practice variables included position, years in current position, working part time, work with other pharmacists, work with technicians, proportion of staff who are pharmacists, staff size, dispensing level. Demographic variables included age, gender, race, marital status, and year of licensure with respondents' reported work activity amounts and gaps. Linear regression results were interpreted based on standardized beta coefficients and corresponding P values. Logistic regression results were interpreted based on 95% confidence intervals for odds ratios. Results: The proportion of time pharmacists devoted to medication dispensing, consultation, business management, and drug use management did not change between 2000 and 2004. Practice setting was the most consistently influential variable on pharmacists' work activities when controlling for other variables. Pharmacists in all practice settings would like to spend more time in consultation and drug use management and less time in medication dispensing, but compared with community pharmacists, hospital and other patient care pharmacists were less likely to report a gap between desired and actual time spent in dispensing activities. Age was a significant predictor of gaps between desired and actual time spent in various activities, but only the oldest age groups (ages of 60 or 70 years and older) were significantly different from the reference group of pharmacists aged 23 to 30 years. Conclusion: Pharmacists would like to devote more of their time to consultation and drug use management activities in community pharmacy settings but have not yet been afforded a full opportunity to engage in these activities to the extent that they desire.
- Community and ambulatory pharmacy
- Institutional pharmacy
- National Pharmacist Workforce Survey
- Work activities