EXPERIENCE WITH PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY SERVICES AMONG COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS IN SASKATCHEWAN
In recent years, a significant change in the pharmacist’s scope of practice is the expansion of prescriptive authority (PA). In Saskatchewan, pharmacists adopted an interdependent prescribing model to support interprofessional collaboration, public safety though the optimal use of drug therapy, and the optimization of pharmacy competencies. In acquiring this new prescriptive authority, the community pharmacist also assumes new responsibilities and obligations, as well as transforming their relationships with patients and physicians. The purpose of this research is to assess rates of adoption by pharmacists of PA (Level 1 and Minor Ailments Prescribing) within community pharmacy practice in Saskatchewan. To gain a better understanding of how pharmacists are responding to new and evolving models of practice, this study proposes to measure their experiences with PA services and how it is affected by aspects of their professional practice. To investigate the study’s research questions, a cross-sectional study using a mail-in questionnaire with an online option was initiated. All registered community pharmacists in Saskatchewan (998) were asked to participate in the study. Of the 998 distributed questionnaires, 501 were returned back by the respondents yielding a response rate of 51.3 percent. The results disclose that a vast majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they were confident in their ability to provide Level 1 (94%) and Minor Ailment (75%) prescribing. Respondents indicated that 74.2 percent of the time they actually provide Level 1 (L1) prescribing services to their patients and slightly more than half (52.5%) of the time provided Minor Ailment (MA) prescribing services. The majority of respondents (81.4 %) indicated that on average it took twenty minutes or less to provide MA prescribing service to their patients. Most pharmacist respondents strongly supported the statement that the pharmacies they worked at consistently provided Prescriptive Authority services (L1- 90% Strongly Agreed or Agreed, MA- 52.9% Strongly Agreed or Agreed) and that they get full support from managers (L1- 95.6% Strongly Agreed or Agreed, MA- 88% Strongly Agreed or Agreed) for their involvement in PA services. Respondents indicated some concern regarding the limited knowledge of patients on what pharmacists can do for them as a prescriber. In terms of overall relationships with patients, respondents indicated that patients were satisfied with the services pharmacists provide as a prescriber. Respondents reported that they had a good relationship with physicians. However, they did express concerns about their limited interactions with physicians as MA prescribers. Respondents generally reported supportive environments and positive interactions with patients and physicians. However, while expressing confidence in their ability to provide all prescriptive authority services, Level 1 services that supported traditional dispensing services were generally more consistently provided, supported, and perceived as being valued by patients and physicians compared to Minor Ailment Prescribing. The results also support the notion that pharmacists are highly confident to provide PA services to the patients and their relationships with the patients and physician improved day by day. Nevertheless, there is little evidence to suggest that patient’s level of knowledge about pharmacist’s new role; pharmacist’s interaction with physicians and physicians’ knowledge on PA have affected the provision of Prescriptive Authority services.
Prescriptive Authority, Community Pharmacists, Level 1 and Minor Ailment Prescribing
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Pharmacy and Nutrition