A Disruptive Innovation: Hope for Making Pharmacists Part of the Team

In order to be appreciated, community pharmacists must become integrated with the rest of the health care team.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) recently completed their annual meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. One news release that came out of that meeting gives me hope for our profession’s future.

At the meeting, President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson spoke about his theme that community pharmacy is a “disruptive innovation.” He stated “to know community pharmacy is to understand that patient-care heroics play out every day, in neighborhoods across our land. With the diversity of the chain and supplier membership at NACDS, this passion extends to addressing the needs and the desires of the entire person—throughout the entire store—as a patient and as a consumer.”

I do agree. However what does concern me is that, although his observation is true, too many members of the health team still do not appreciate the value of the community pharmacist. Why? Because too many of us practice in isolation from the health team. To be really appreciated for the “disruptive innovation” that we as a profession indeed are, we need to become “virtually” integrated into patient-centered medical homes.

Until that happens, I am afraid our health team colleagues will not fully appreciate us. There is hope. When we do become part of the team, we quickly become indispensable team members. What are you doing to move your practice from the isolation of the community pharmacy to an interdependent part of the health care team?