A recent study has confirmed that because of their accessibility and trust among the public, pharmacists are expected to play an even greater role in care management for patients in the coming years.
The study is the largest of its kind, including responses from more than 3,000 patients, 1,000 pharmacists, and 500 physicians and nurse practitioners. It showed that most people trust pharmacists to play a larger role in providing care.
Healthcare professionals expect the role of the pharmacist to grow as well because of the shortage of doctors and nurses, the complexity of new therapies, and the growth of digital healthcare technology. Pharmacological innovation and increased pharmacy services are two of the main developments that will be shaping the future of health care.
The study also found:
Most of the pharmacists predict that their role will transform from dispensing medications to more direct patient care efforts. Pharmacists working in ambulatory clinics, health systems, and home delivery will be leading the way in this change.
Four out of five patients see pharmacists as an important part of their healthcare team. And more than 90 percent of other health care providers also acknowledge a great deal of trust in pharmacists and the activities they perform, such as dispensing medications and counseling patients.
Pharmacists said that advanced training will be a major focus for them as they attempt to fill gaps in important areas of patient care. While, pharmacists agree that their current training is adequate for managing patients they recognize the need for additional training in chronic disease education, diagnosing, and prescribing.
The research also showed that almost half of all patients would like to have routine testing and medical visits done from home. More than half of home delivery pharmacists engage with patients through telepharmacy on a regular basis, whereas only about 15 percent of retail pharmacists said they use telepharmacy.
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