Spirometry: Tool for pharmacy practitioners to expand direct patient care services

Michael J. Cawley, Jean Moon, Jennifer Reinhold, Vincent J. Willey, William J. Warning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: To introduce pharmacy practitioners to spirometry testing and provide strategies for integrating this "value-added" tool with other direct patient care pharmacy services. Data sources: Spirometry literature and resources obtained through search strategies including Ovid, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Summary: Pharmacists are distinctive members of the multidisciplinary patient care team and can contribute by performing spirometry services for pulmonary patients. Pharmacists have been largely absent from performing this much needed service, perhaps as a result of lack of training or because this testing may be perceived as irrelevant to the pharmacist scope of practice. However, pharmacists are actively integrated with many aspects of pulmonary patient care, including recommending and adjusting inhaled pharmacological agents, monitoring for potential drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, recommending smoking cessation, assessing patient prescription insurance coverage, and educating patients, caregivers, and health care providers on use of prescribed respiratory delivery devices. Adding quality spirometry services, based on American Thoracic Society guidelines for accuracy, would increase the breadth and depth of services for pharmacy practitioners. Conclusion: Spirometry testing is an added tool for expanding direct patient care pharmacy services. Physician support, appropriate pharmacist training, and understanding of reimbursement of spirometry services are essential in providing quality spirometry testing. Future studies are needed to assess the role of pharmacists in performing spirometry and measuring the performance outcomes of pulmonary patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Patient care services
  • Pharmacists
  • Spirometry

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