Integration of pharmacists into general practice clinics in Australia: The views of general practitioners and pharmacists

Edwin Chin Kang Tan, Kay Stewart, Rohan Andrew Elliott, Johnson George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Pharmacists working collaboratively with general practitioners (GPs) in primary-care settings can improve patient outcomes; however, there are challenges to the implementation of collaborative services. A possible solution is the co-location of pharmacists within general practice clinics. Objective: To elicit the views of GPs and pharmacists on the integration of pharmacists into general practice in Australia. Methods: Semi-structured, individual interviews with a sample of 11 GPs and 16 pharmacists. Key findings: Four major themes emerged: the current GP-pharmacist relationship; the role of the general practice pharmacist; the pros and cons of integration; and the barriers to and facilitators for integration. Most participants had experienced positive inter-professional relationships, though there were limitations in the collaborative services currently provided. Various methods of integration were discussed, including the co-location of pharmacists within practices. The potential roles for practice pharmacists were deemed to be multifaceted and in some cases allowed for role expansion. Although these roles were thought to offer potential benefits to practice staff, patients and pharmacists, they were also perceived to be potentially disadvantageous. The integration of pharmacists into general practice was believed to be hindered by limited funding and infrastructure and by practitioner perceptions. Various facilitating factors were proposed that could help ensure viability of the role. Conclusions: Various roles and methods of integration were identified for pharmacists in general practice; however, a number of barriers and facilitators to integration would need to be considered to ensure viability of services. Future research should explore different methods of collaboration and trial their implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28 - 37
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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