Pharmacist-provided clinical services are becoming more and more common across the country. Their need and benefit has already been proven in some disease states; however, pharmacists may still see some boundaries to starting these services in their pharmacy. This study will impact the ability to market and price these types of services and will help us understand which services are most useful to physicians. With this information we can also inform policy makers of the importance of the pharmacist’s role in patient care. We can then begin to make changes regarding payment and reimbursement models. This survey may be useful in educating physicians on the services pharmacists are trained to provide. More education and interaction between pharmacists and physicians is critical to increasing their comfort level with pharmacist provided patient care services .
This research project is a result of a partnership between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Kroger Pharmacy. A community residency program established between UAMS and Kroger Pharmacy provides a community partner for the college to examine the services available by community pharmacists to physicians and patients in central Arkansas. The data from this needs assessment survey can be used to help community pharmacists develop clinical services at their practice site.
Two separate surveys will be distributed. A three-question survey will be mailed to 100 local primary care physicians and administered face-to-face to 250 patients in multiple Kroger pharmacies. Physicians will have the opportunity to return the survey by fax for one month. Physicians will receive a notice of the survey by fax and a fax reminder to return the survey at 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Physicians who are interested in services will have the opportunity to provide information to be contacted after the study.
The five-question patient survey will be distributed at multiple locations of a chain retail pharmacy and at local community screenings. These surveys will be filled out on site and returned to the pharmacist immediately.
One of the barriers pharmacists face in providing clinical services is negative push-back from physicians and barriers regarding reimbursement models. Studies like this to determine needs and payment information will help other pharmacists develop successful programs in the community. Preliminary results show that physicians have an increased comfort level with pharmacists providing service like diabetes education over lipid panel monitoring, INR monitoring, and travel immunizations. This may be a result of documented pharmacist intervention in these areas. Physicians are familiar with Ashville Project and Diabetes 10 City Challenge which provides evidence of pharmacist’s interventions. More outcomes data is necessary to show the overall impact pharmacist’s have on positive patient outcomes .