Integrated health care and an understanding of the role of pharmacists within such systems are essential for strengthening health systems and primary care. A new paper, which iheed has contributed to has been published this month focusing on the dynamics between those that provide such care and community pharmacists.
Using case studies based on interviews, the authors were able to map the experiences, interprofessional dynamics, thoughts and perceptions of pharmacists, physicians and nurses working in primary care clinics, within the United Kingdom.
Being the first study to do so, the authors were able to determine that practice pharmacists are seen as a positive on the surface with patients, in particular having positive perceptions of their role. Yet, pharmacists had some uncertainty of their own identity and more work needs to be done from a health practitioner perspective, particularly on the doctor’s side and thus help improve pharmacist integration. To avoid problems such as tension, the integration of community pharmacists into general practices needs to be well planned.
Therefore, as the authors have advised, “Further interprofessional education is needed at undergraduate and postgraduate level to strengthen professional relationships”.