Identifying Community Pharmacists' Readiness to Participate in Transitions of Care
Objective: To determine the readiness of community pharmacists to participate in transitions of care and to identify barriers related to participation.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed to identify community pharmacists’ willingness, attitudes, and barriers to participating in transitions of care programs. The questionnaire was piloted with community pharmacists prior to implementation. The questionnaire was distributed to a population of chain, supermarket/grocery, and independent community pharmacists (n=200). Descriptive statistics, correlations, and chi square tests were used to analyze demographic trends and final results.
Results: Of the 200 questionnaires distributed, 147 pharmacists responded (73.5%). Community pharmacists agreed transitions of care services have the potential to improve patients’ understanding of medications (97.3%), decrease medication-related errors (95.9%), and enhance relationships with patients (96.6%). The largest pharmacist perceived barriers included time (69.7%), communication/lack of patient data (14.6%), and lack of physician acceptance (6.7%). Of the respondents who indicated time as the greatest barrier to participation, 76.9% of pharmacists were still willing to participate in transitions of care given the opportunity. Willingness to participate in transitions of care did not differ by gender (p=0.139), years in practice (p=0.133), or degree of education (p=0.382).
Conclusion: Community pharmacists are in a unique position to widely impact patient health outcomes and decrease hospital readmission rates through improved care coordination. This research demonstrates community pharmacists’ readiness and willingness to participate in transitions of care. Awareness of perceived barriers can allow stakeholders to address these areas when designing and implementing transitions of care programs with pharmacists.
Type: Original Research