Pharmacists' Service Time Linked to Cooperation with Physicians

December 30, 2014
Rachel Lutz

Pharmacists with long lengths of pharmacy service are more willing to cooperate with physicians.

Pharmacists with long lengths of pharmacy service are more willing to cooperate with physicians, according to research published in Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica.

A team of investigators from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland surveyed 129 pharmacists between June 2011 and March 2012. Nearly half of the respondents had been employed as pharmacists for up to 5 years, while 24.8% had 6 to 10 years of professional pharmacy experience, 14.9% had 11 to 20 years, and 11.5% had 21 or more years.

During the observation period, participants completed an anonymous questionnaire that was centered on pharmacist-physician cooperation. The pharmacists were asked about their opinions on the effectiveness of a proposed Individual Medication Management System (IMMS), under which a pharmacist is obligated to check dosing schemes and relevant doses. Alongside the questionnaire, participants were issued a brochure and presentation that included information on how to use IMMS.

The researchers found that pharmacists with the shortest length of service and no specialties were the least likely to cooperate with physicians. However, 68.8% of the survey respondents admitted that they thought pharmacist-physician cooperation could increase with use of IMMS. Even more respondents (71.9%) agreed that IMMS would attach the patient to a specific pharmacy within the community.

The authors said IMMS is beneficial because it gives pharmacists the chance to increase the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy.

“Implementation of IMMS…can be a chance for both patients and their physicians to increase the safety and effectiveness of therapy, and for pharmacists, who are intended to highlight their role as a part of the health care system,” the authors concluded.

The researchers wrote that collaborative efforts between physicians and pharmacists provide benefits in pharmacotherapy control for patients, which was similarly demonstrated in a 2005 study. In that study, poor collaboration was also attributed to pharmacists with the shortest length of service.