Background: There exists a need to conceptualize and understand the roles that pharmacists serve to help convince others such as patients, prescribers, and payers to value their contributions and to plan for the roles they could serve in the future within the health care system. Objective: The purpose of this study was to (1) describe and track differences in pharmacists' and patients' views about the pharmacist's and physician's role in medication risk management and risk assessment in 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2004, and (2) describe associations between selected demographic variables and reported opinions about the pharmacist's role using data from 2004. Methods: Brushwood's Risk Management/Risk Assessment Framework was used as a conceptual guide for developing 2 risk management and 2 risk assessment scenarios. For each scenario, study participants were asked to select the level of responsibility shared by physicians and pharmacists in addressing the drug therapy problem. Data were collected in 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2004 using random samples of pharmacists and patients as study subjects. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used for analyzing the data. Results: The results showed that pharmacists view their role as providing risk management information to patients and may view this role as adding value to patient care above and beyond a level that can be provided by a physician alone. In 2004, pharmacists started to view the risk assessment scenarios as being more their responsibility as well. Patients, on the other hand, consistently viewed their physician as having primary responsibility for their health care in all of the scenarios we studied. Conclusions: Pharmacists view their role as one that adds unique value to a patient's health through their provision of medication risk management and some types of risk assessment. However, patients do not yet view the pharmacist as the primary provider of either medication risk management or risk assessment information.
- Risk assessment
- Risk management