Influence of Pharmacists’ Expanded Scope of Practice on Physician Collaboration in Community Pharmacy
The Canadian Healthcare System is overburdened and requires fundamental changes for its continued sustainability. One possible solution is healthcare professionals working more collaboratively and to their maximum scope of practice. Saskatchewan pharmacists have had significant expansion in their scope of practice in the last decade and correspondingly, expectations of collaboration. This study’s primary objective was to explore the influence of pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice (ESoP) on physician collaboration in the community pharmacy setting. This thesis proposes a new model, the Community Pharmacists Collaboration Model (CPCM), for analysis of community pharmacists’ collaboration derived from the Collaborative Working Relationship, Hudson’s, Artimage’s, and Spectrum of Collaboration models. It uses this model to examine collaboration in the context of a community pharmacy setting, taking into consideration pharmacy partnerships and collaborative practice agreements. An online questionnaire was emailed to all 1165 practicing community pharmacists in Saskatchewan. The questionnaire acquired data on: participant demographics, ESoP engagement, most beneficial activities, influence on physician collaboration, and strategies for fostering collaboration. The questionnaire response rate was 15.7%. Pharmacists suggested ESoP positively influenced communication and collaboration, pharmacist utilization, clinical management, and pharmacist-physician relationships. ESoP may play a role at increasing the frequency and quality of exchanges between pharmacists and physicians, however, did not appear to improve the opportunity for verbal or written agreements. The most effective strategy identified for fostering collaboration was maximizing exchanges with physicians, especially verbal exchanges. Lack of physician engagement and restrictions to direct communication channels with physicians were hindrances. Pharmacists’ utilization of ESoP activities and its subsequent correspondence may be an avenue in which to improve collaboration with physicians. The CPCM model could prove to be a useful tool to aide in the understanding of collaborative practice in the community pharmacy setting. Further exploration into community pharmacy collaboration, particularly regarding physician engagement, will prove advantageous.
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Master of Education (M.Ed.)