Supporting the provision of pharmacy medication reviews to marginalised (medically underserved) groups: a before/after questionnaire study investigating the impact of a patient-professional co-produced digital educational intervention.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:People who are marginalised (medically underserved) experience significant health disparities and their voices are often 'seldom heard'. Interventions to improve professional awareness and engagement with these groups are urgently needed. This study uses a co-production approach to develop an online digital educational intervention in order to improve pharmacy staffs' intention to offer a community pharmacy medication review service to medically underserved groups. DESIGN:Before/after (3 months) self-completion online questionnaire. SETTING:Community pharmacies in the Nottinghamshire (England) geographical area. PARTICIPANTS:Community pharmacy staff. INTERVENTION:Online digital educational intervention. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:The primary outcome measure was 'behaviour change intention' using a validated 12-item survey measure. The secondary outcome measure was pharmacist self-reported recruitment of underserved groups to the medication review service. RESULTS:All pharmacies in the Nottinghamshire area (n=237) were approached in June 2017 and responses were received from 149 staff (from 122 pharmacies). At 3 months (after completing the baseline questionnaire), 96 participants (from 80 pharmacies) completed a follow-up questionnaire, of which two-thirds (n=62) reported completing the e-learning. A before/after comparison analysis found an improving trend in all the five constructs of behaviour change intention (intention, social influence, beliefs about capabilities, moral norms and beliefs about consequences), with a significant increase in mean score of participants' 'beliefs about capabilities' (0.44; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.76, p=0.009). In the short-term, no significant change was detected in the number of patients being offered and the patient completing a medication review. CONCLUSIONS:Although increases in the numbers of patients being offered a medication review was not detected, the intervention has the potential to significantly improve pharmacy professionals' 'beliefs about capabilities' in the short-term. Wider organisational and policy barriers to engagement with marginasied groups may need to be addressed. Future research should focus on the interplay between digital learning and practice to better identify and understand effective practice change pathways.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Adherence to medication is often low. Pharmacists may improve adherence, but a one-size-fits-all approach will not work: different patients have different needs. Goal of the current study is to assess the effectiveness of a patient-tailored, telephone-based intervention by a pharmacist at the start of pharmacotherapy aimed at improving medication adherence, satisfaction with information and counselling and the beliefs about medicines. METHODS/DESIGN: A cluster randomized controlled intervention trial in 30 Dutch pharmacies, randomly assigned to 1 of 2 intervention groups. Each group consists of an intervention arm and an usual care arm. The intervention arm in the first group is the usual care arm in the second group and vice versa. One intervention arm focuses on patients starting with antidepressants or bisphosphonates and the other on antilipaemic drugs or renin angiotensin system (RAS)-inhibitors. The intervention consists of a telephone call by a pharmacist 2 or 3 weeks after a new prescription. A random sample of pharmacies will send questionnaires 3 months after the first prescription. This contains socio-demographic questions, a measure of beliefs about medicines (BMQ), satisfaction with information received (SIMS, abbreviated) and frequency of pharmacy counselling (Consumer Quality Index, CQI, abbreviated). The primary outcome measure will be medication adherence calculated from dispensing records retrieved 12 months after the intervention. Patients' beliefs on medication, perception of the quality of information received and pharmacy counselling are secondary outcomes. DISCUSSION: The TelCIP study will determine the effectiveness of telephone counselling to improve adherence in patients initiating a new treatment. By measuring satisfaction with information and counselling and beliefs about medication the study will also give clues for the reason of a potential increase in adherence. Finally the study will provide information on which patients are most likely to benefit from this intervention. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is registered at http://www.trialregister.nl under the identifier NTR3237.
Project description:An essential component of quality care for limited English proficient (LEP) patients is language access. Linguistically accessible medication instructions are particularly important, given the serious consequences of error and patient responsibility for managing often complex medication regimens on their own. Approximately 21 million people in the U.S. were LEP at the time of the 2000 census, representing a 50% increase since 1990. Little information is available on their access to comprehensible medication instructions. In an effort to address this knowledge gap, we conducted a telephone survey of 200 randomly selected NYC pharmacies. The primary focus of the survey was translation need, capacity, and practice. The majority of pharmacists reported that they had LEP patients daily (88.0%) and had the capacity to translate prescription labels (79.5%). Among pharmacies serving LEP patients on a daily basis, just 38.6% translated labels daily; 22.7% never translated. In multivariate analysis, pharmacy type (OR = 4.08, 95%CI = 1.55-10.74, independent versus chain pharmacies) and proportion of Spanish-speaking LEP persons in the pharmacy's census tract (OR = 1.09, 95%CI = 1.05-1.13 for each 1% increase in Spanish LEP population) were associated with increased label translation. Although 88.5% of the pharmacies had bilingual staff, less than half were pharmacists or pharmacy interns and thus qualified to provide medication counseling. More than 80% of the pharmacies surveyed lacked systematic methods for identifying linguistic needs and for informing patients of translation capabilities. Consistent with efforts to improve language access in other health care settings, the critical gap in language appropriate pharmacy services must be addressed to meet the needs of the nation's large and ever-growing immigrant communities. Pharmacists may require supplemental training on the need and resources for meeting the verbal and written language requirements of their LEP patients. Dispensing software with accurate translation capability and telephonic interpretation services should be utilized in pharmacies serving LEP patients. Pharmacists should post signs and make other efforts to inform patients about the language resources available to them.
Project description:(1) Background: pharmacy technicians are the largest group of staff at Danish community pharmacies and play a vital role in counselling customers on prescription medication, over-the-counter (OTC) medication and non-medical products. This is the first study carried out to specifically analyse how they contribute to counselling and identification of drug-related problems (DRPs) at Danish community pharmacies. (2) Methods: seventy-six pharmacy technicians from 38 community pharmacies registered data on all of their customer visits for five days, over a four-week period, between January and March 2019. Data were analysed in SPSS version 24. (3) Results: 58.9% of all registered customers (n = 10,417) received counselling. They identified DRPs for 15.8% of all registered customers (n = 2800). Counselling by pharmacy technicians solved, or partially solved, problems for 70.4% of customers with DRPs. Pharmacy technicians estimated that 25.2% of customers receiving counselling (n = 2621) were saved a visit to the general practitioner (GP). (4) Conclusions: as community pharmacists get more involved in complex services, it would be necessary to expand the roles of pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians contribute to medication safety via counselling, and identifying and handling DRPs for all customers. This study documents the role of pharmacy technicians in customer counselling at Danish community pharmacies. It provides evidence to researchers and policy makers to support discussions on the future role of pharmacy technicians at community pharmacies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: This cluster-randomised controlled trial determined the effectiveness of an evidence-based, pamphlet intervention in improving low back pain (LBP)-related beliefs among pharmacy consumers. METHODS: THIRTY FIVE COMMUNITY PHARMACIES WERE RANDOMISED TO THREE GROUPS: pamphlet+education intervention [n?=?11]; pamphlet only intervention [n?=?11]; control: usual care [n?=?13]. Eligibility requirements for clusters included: community-based pharmacies and proprietor participation consent. Pharmacy consumers (N?=?317) aged 18-65 years currently experiencing LBP participated. Intervention group allocation depended on the pharmacy attended. Individual-level outcomes were measured at pre-intervention (T0), at two (T1) and eight (T2) weeks post-intervention and included beliefs about LBP [Back Pain Beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ); Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ)]. Secondary outcomes included pain severity, activity impairment and pamphlet perceived usefulness. Blinding to group allocation included primary investigators, outcome assessors and the statistician. Pharmacy staff and consumers were un-blinded. RESULTS: Of 35 pharmacies recruited (317 consumers), no clusters were lost to follow-up. Follow-up was available for n?=?24 at 2 weeks only; n?=?38 at 8 weeks only; n?=?148 at both time points, with n?=?148+24+38?=?210 analysed (107 excluded: no follow up). Adjusting for baseline scores demonstrated no significant differences in beliefs (2 or at 8 weeks) between pamphlet (with or without education) versus control, or between 'pamphlet with' versus 'without' education. Work-related fear (FABQ) was significantly lower in consumers receiving pamphlet (with or without education) versus control (difference -2.3, 95%CI: -4.4 to -0.2). There was no significant difference between "pamphlet with" versus "pamphlet without" groups. Consumers receiving the "pamphlet with" reported greater perceived usefulness than consumers receiving the "pamphlet without" (difference 0.9 (95%CI: 0.0 to 1.8)). CONCLUSION: Community pharmacies provided a feasible primary care portal for implementing evidence-based information. The associated improvement in work-related LBP-beliefs for consumers receiving the pamphlet suggests this simple intervention may be a useful component of care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTR.org.au ACTRN12611000053921.
Project description:Since the United States Food and Drug Administration's approval of over-the-counter levonorgestrel emergency contraception, access to this time-sensitive medication has improved. However, multiple barriers, including the cost of the medication and pharmacy availability, still exist. The objective of this study was to determine the over-the-counter availability of levonorgestrel emergency contraception in pharmacies on Oahu, Hawaii. We conducted a cross-sectional population-based study using in-person simulated patient encounters at all pharmacies on Oahu. Out of 109 chain pharmacies and 13 independent pharmacies, 102 (84%) pharmacies had levonorgestrel emergency contraception available over the counter. Of pharmacies in which it was available, 12.7% required an employee to unlock the medication, 37.3% required the medication to be unlocked at the register, 29.4% were packaged in a large plastic box, and 3.9% were packaged in a blister pack. Levonorgestrel emergency contraception is widely available as an over-the-counter medication in pharmacies on Oahu, yet there are packaging and display practices that make it less accessible. Many of these practices could be improved with pharmacy education or changes in store policies. Systems-based interventions are needed to improve the access to levonorgestrel emergency contraception as an over-the-counter medication.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Community retail pharmacies offer multiple public health services to meet the health care needs of medically underserved rural communities. Many rural residents are enrolled in Medicaid insurance, and it is important that pharmacies contract with Medicaid to meet the health care needs of these people. The objective of this study was to evaluate disparities in access to Medicaid-contracted pharmacies across the rural-urban continuum in Washington State. METHODS:We linked data on licensed community retail pharmacies in Washington State in 2017 to lists of state Medicaid-contracted pharmacies. We classified pharmacies as being located in small rural, large rural, suburban, and urban areas by using rural-urban commuting area (RUCA) codes. We evaluated the likelihood of zip code-level access to at least 1 pharmacy that was contracted with a Medicaid insurance plan across the rural-urban continuum by using descriptive statistics and modified Poisson regression models, adjusted for zip code-level community characteristics. RESULTS:Of 1,145 pharmacies in our study sample, 8.4% (n = 96) were not contracted with a Medicaid plan. Compared with urban core zip codes, small rural zip codes (adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 0.64; 95% CI, 0.46-0.91) and large rural zip codes (ARR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.49-0.95) were significantly less likely to have access to a Medicaid-contracted pharmacy. Suburban zip codes did not differ significantly from urban core areas in their access to Medicaid-contracted pharmacies. CONCLUSION:In Washington State, the likelihood of access to a Medicaid-contracted pharmacy decreased significantly as rurality increased. Policy efforts should aim to improve access for Medicaid enrollees, especially those outside urban centers.
Project description:Background Community pharmacies are promising locations for opportunistic screening due to pharmacist accessibility and ability to perform various health and medication management services. Little is known as to the provision of pharmacy services following screening initiatives. Objective To describe provision of pharmacy services for participants following a community pharmacy stroke screening initiative. Setting The Program for the Identification of "Actionable Atrial" Fibrillation Pharmacy initiative took place in 30 pharmacies in Alberta and Ontario, Canada. 1149 participants ≥ 65 were screened for atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. Method Retrospective, secondary analysis of data using participant case-report forms, pharmacy data, and pharmacy claims to describe pharmacy services received by participants post-screening. Main Outcome Measure Number and types of remunerated pharmacy services received by participants post-screening. Results A total of 535/1149 (46.6%) participants screened at their regular pharmacy were included in this analysis. Of these, 165 (30.8%) participants received 229 pharmacy services within 3 months post-screening, including 146 medication reviews, 57 influenza vaccinations, and 21 pharmaceutical opinions. A median (interquartile range, IQR) of 6 (2-11) pharmacy services were delivered, and median (IQR) reimbursement was $187.50 ($67.50-$342.50). Conclusions Approximately one-third of participants received a pharmacy service within 3 months post-screening. Relatively large numbers of annual and follow-up medication reviews were delivered despite low eligibility for annual-only reviews and despite many missed opportunities for pharmacy service provision in at-risk patients. In-pharmacy screening may facilitate provision of some services, namely medication reviews, by providing opportunities to identify patients at-risk.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To describe patients' perceived value and use of quality measures in evaluating and choosing community pharmacies. DESIGN:Focus group methodology was combined with a survey tool. During the focus groups, participants assessed the value of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance's quality measures in evaluating and choosing a pharmacy. Also, participants completed questionnaires rating their perceived value of quality measures in evaluating a pharmacy (1 being low value and 5 being high) or choosing a pharmacy (yes/no). Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the focus groups and surveys, respectively. SETTING:Semistructured focus groups were conducted in a private meeting space of an urban and a rural area of a Mid-western State in the USA. PARTICIPANTS:Thirty-four adults who filled prescription medications in community pharmacies for a chronic illness were recruited in community pharmacies, senior centres and public libraries. RESULTS:While comments indicated that all measures were important, medication safety measures (eg, drug-drug interactions) were valued more highly than others. Rating of quality measure utility in evaluating a pharmacy ranged from a mean of 4.88 ('drug-drug interactions') to a mean of 4.0 ('absence of controller therapy for patients with asthma'). Patients were hesitant to use quality information in choosing a pharmacy (depending on the participant's location) but might consider if moving to a new area or having had a negative pharmacy experience. Use of select quality measures to choose a pharmacy ranged from 97.1% of participants using 'drug-drug interactions' (medication safety measure) to 55.9% using 'absence of controller therapy for patients with asthma'. CONCLUSIONS:The study participants valued quality measures in evaluating and selecting a community pharmacy, with medication safety measures valued highest. The participants reported that the quality measures would not typically cause a switch in pharmacy but might influence their selection in certain situations.
Project description:The United States (US) has a complex healthcare system with a mix of public, private, nonprofit, and for-profit insurers, healthcare institutions and organizations, and providers. Unlike other developed countries, there is not a single payer healthcare system or a national pharmaceutical benefits scheme/plan. Despite spending over USD 10,000 per capita in healthcare, the US is among the worst performers compared to other developed countries in outcomes including life expectancy at birth, infant mortality, safety during childbirth, and unmanaged chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes). Primary care is delivered by physicians and advanced practice providers (i.e., nurse practitioners and physician assistants) in a variety of settings including large health systems, federally qualified health centers or free clinics that provide care to the underserved, or specific facilities for veterans or American Indian and Alaska native peoples. Since 2010, primary care delivery has shifted toward providing patient-centered, coordinated, comprehensive care focused on providing proactive, rather than reactive, population health management, and on the quality, versus volume, of care. Community pharmacy comprises a mix of independently owned, chain, supermarket and mass merchant pharmacies. Community pharmacies provide services such as immunizations, medication therapy management, medication packaging, medication synchronization, point-of-care testing and, in specific states where legislation has been passed, hormonal contraception, opioid reversal agents, and smoking cessation services. There has been criticism regarding the lack of standard terminology for services such as medication synchronization and medication therapy management, their components and how they should be provided, which hampers comparability across studies. One of the main challenges for pharmacists in the US is the lack of provider status at the federal level. This means that pharmacists are not allowed to use existing fee-for-service health insurance billing codes to receive reimbursement for non-dispensing services. In addition, despite there being regulatory infrastructure in multiple states, the extent of service implementation is either low or unknown. Research found that pharmacists face numerous barriers when providing some of these services. State fragmentation and the lack of a single pharmacy organization and vision for the profession are additional challenges.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: A core feature of e-prescribing is the electronic exchange of prescription data between physician practices and pharmacies, which can potentially improve the efficiency of the prescribing process and reduce medication errors. Barriers to implementing this feature exist, but they are not well understood. This study's objectives were to explore recent physician practice and pharmacy experiences with electronic transmission of new prescriptions and renewals, and identify facilitators of and barriers to effective electronic transmission and pharmacy e-prescription processing. DESIGN: Qualitative analysis of 114 telephone interviews conducted with representatives from 97 organizations between February and September 2010, including 24 physician practices, 48 community pharmacies, and three mail-order pharmacies actively transmitting or receiving e-prescriptions via Surescripts. RESULTS: Practices and pharmacies generally were satisfied with electronic transmission of new prescriptions but reported that the electronic renewal process was used inconsistently, resulting in inefficient workarounds for both parties. Practice communications with mail-order pharmacies were less likely to be electronic than with community pharmacies because of underlying transmission network and computer system limitations. While e-prescribing reduced manual prescription entry, pharmacy staff frequently had to complete or edit certain fields, particularly drug name and patient instructions. CONCLUSIONS: Electronic transmission of new prescriptions has matured. Changes in technical standards and system design and more targeted physician and pharmacy training may be needed to address barriers to e-renewals, mail-order pharmacy connectivity, and pharmacy processing of e-prescriptions.