Tip of the Week: Entrepreneurship Will Take You Far

Pharmacists who are proactive—in other words, taking account of the environment and being able to foresee health systems and patients’ needs ahead of time—are more effective in promoting practice change.

Pharmacy is rooted in entrepreneurship and has demonstrated a long history of innovation. There are a number of products you consume daily that were created by pharmacists. Large pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy wholesalers can often trace their roots to some innovative, determined, and hard-working pharmacists.

We read and hear much about practice change. By its very nature, practice change suggests it is borne from innovation, along with other factors. Change just for the sake of change is not necessarily positive, but the continued evolution from solely dispensing to more patient-centered practice has many benefactors. A study by Doucette et al examined the factors influencing practice change to more patient-centric and progressive styles.1

The authors examined a number of factors. Adequacy of resources and pharmacy technician staffing were important. The most influential factors predicting successful practice change were 2 dimensions of the entrepreneurial orientation scale: proactiveness and autonomy. The results suggest that pharmacists who are proactive—in other words, taking account of the environment and being able to foresee health systems and patients’ needs ahead of time—are more effective in promoting practice change. Also important is when pharmacists appreciate working in an autonomous environment and, likewise, provide the empowerment and support for other pharmacists and staff to work with that same level of autonomy.

It is important to note that the study was undertaken in various types of ambulatory environments. One of the myths that surround the concept of entrepreneurism is that people are simply ‘born this way’. There are certain characteristics that predispose risk-taking and extroversion, but these 2 traits do not necessarily make for an effective entrepreneur. Moreover, entrepreneurism is something that can indeed be learned.

Additional information about “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.

Shane P. Desselle, RPh, PhD, FAPhA, Professor of Social/Behavioral Pharmacy at Touro University California in Vallejo.

REFERENCE

Doucette WR, Nevins JC, Gaither C, et al. Organizational factors influencing pharmacy practice change. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2012;8:274-284.