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Pharmacists' Experiences with the Saskatchewan Medication Assessment Program



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Objectives: The Saskatchewan Medication Assessment Program (SMAP) is a community pharmacy based medication assessment program introduced in 2013, which has not been formally evaluated. The objectives of this research were to (1) determine the extent to which pharmacists believe they are fulfilling the purposes of the SMAP; (2) describe pharmacists’ perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to fulfilling the purposes of the SMAP; and (3) determine strategies pharmacists would like to see implemented to assist them to provide the SMAP. Methods: Mixed methods study in which a web-based questionnaire was distributed by the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan. Pharmacists were eligible to participate if they practiced in a community pharmacy setting. The questionnaire consisted of a combination of 53 Likert-scale and free-text questions. Results: The survey had 228 respondents (response rate = 20.3%, n=228/1124). The majority of respondents were staff pharmacists (64.3%, n=128/199) who worked 31-40 hours per week (57.5%, n=115/200), and completed between one and five SMAP assessments in a typical month (79.2%, n=164/207). Most respondents were in agreement that the SMAP was meeting its intended purposes. For instance, 89.7% (n=192/214) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that SMAP assessments improved medication safety for seniors. Pharmacists also agreed that they were confident in identifying drug related problems (88.2%, n=172/195) and that they were comfortable making recommendations to physicians (81.7%, n=156/191). However, respondents also revealed that they sometimes have trouble identifying drug related problems because they do not have enough of the patients medical history (67.2%, n=131/195) and that they do not regularly contact the physician to request additional patient information (89.7%, n=175/195). Respondents reported that a lack of time, patients not meeting eligibility criteria, and patients having difficulty coming into the pharmacy as common barriers for providing SMAP assessments. Respondents also reported that good teamwork, employer support, and a belief that SMAP assessments improve patient care helped them to provide SMAP assessments. Conclusions: Pharmacists in Saskatchewan perceive that the SMAP is fulfilling it’s intended purposes, however the findings revealed that community pharmacists experience several barriers to providing SMAP assessments that they wish to be addressed to improve the provision and quality of the program.



medication assessment, pharmacy, pharmacist



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Pharmacy and Nutrition




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