Strategies enhancing the public health role of community pharmacists: a qualitative study

Chijioke O. Agomo, James Ogunleye, Jane Portlock

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Abstract

Objectives This study interviewed healthcare professionals to identify strategies enhancing the public health role of community pharmacists in the UK.MethodsData were collected through telephone interviews, supported by Skype, and recorded using the ‘HD Call Recorder for Skype’. The qualitative data software package NVivo (version 10) was used for the storage, retrieval and analysis of data. The constant comparative method of data analysis was used.Key findings Participants suggested a number of strategies to enhance the public health role of community pharmacists in the UK. They included empowerment through education and awareness, empowerment through direct remuneration of pharmacists, the teaching as well as the use of new technologies and social media in practice, the use of independent pharmacist practitioners (IPPs), teaching communication methods to students and pharmacists, integrating undergraduate healthcare programmes, pharmacists working closely with other healthcare practitioners and changing the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum to increase its public health content. In terms of benefits, enhancing the public health role of community pharmacists could help: enhance preventative care, enhance accessibility, enhance collaboration between healthcare professionals, enhance the knowledge base of practitioners, reduce negative perceptions about pharmacists and bring financial savings and better time management to the NHS.Conclusions This study has identified strategies that could potentially enhance the public health role of community pharmacists. Enhancing the public health role of community pharmacists could make services more accessible to the public, improve public safety and trust in pharmacists, encourage collaboration between pharmacists, doctors and other healthcare providers and bringing financial savings to the National Health Service.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
Volume7
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Keywords

  • health policy
  • health services research
  • international
  • pharmaceutical HSR
  • qualitative research
  • research design

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