Would extending prescribing power to pharmacists really improve health care, or is it just another idea dreamed up in academia that might not fly in the real world?
It hardly seems like it, but Monday was the 1-year anniversary of my switch from retail/community pharmacy to the hospital setting. After 16 years behind the counter, I have spent the last 12 months behind a desk and have loved every minute of it.
Over this past year, I've been able to see the successes in the health care industry. I've also seen some of the failures of the system. Some of my more memorable moments have come when I have been able to work with our interdisciplinary team and contribute to positive patient outcomes. I feel that I have earned the respect of the hospitalists and the nursing staff on our main patient floor.
One of the key things that I've found that has helped me earn their respect is to ask how the pharmacy service can help make their lives easier. There have been instances where I have made their lives more difficult as well. When that has happened, it didn't take long for somebody to explain the situation to me and I made the adjustments to correct the situation. The key to this has been open communication and open minds.
Over the past year, I haven't seen a whole lot of news in the pharmacy world. The only 3 "big" stories that I can think of are the Express Scripts-Medco merger, the move for more OTC/behind-the-counter medications, and pharmacists gaining prescriptive authority.
When I read articles/blogs/tweets on the prescribing issue, I keep seeing the same things. Pharmacists are the medication experts, so why shouldn't we be able to prescribe? I have my personal opinion on the issue, but I would like to ask a question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere.
Have we asked if the other members of the health care team want us to have prescriptive authority? Do the physicians want us to have that authority? Has anybody in pharmacy actually communicated with the AMA and asked them for their thoughts on how the pharmacy profession can help the doctors?
It seems to me that pharmacist prescribing may be another idea dreamed up in academia that might not be able to fly in the real world. I've seen links to several stories lately that shows that the medical doctors really don't want us to prescribe.
Does anybody know if this has been addressed with our medical colleagues? If so, please share.