Pharmacist and physician views on collaborative practice: Findings from the community pharmaceutical care project

Can Pharm J (Ott). 2013 Jul;146(4):218-26. doi: 10.1177/1715163513492642.

Abstract

Background: Strong working relationships between pharmacists and physicians are needed to optimize patient care. Understanding attitudes and barriers to collaboration between pharmacists and physicians may help with delivery of primary health care services. The objective of this study was to capture the opinions of family physicians and community pharmacists in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) regarding collaborative practice.

Methods: Two parallel surveys were offered to all community pharmacists and family physicians in NL. Surveys assessed the following: attitudes and experience with collaborative practice, preferred communication methods, perceived role of pharmacists, areas for more collaboration and barriers to collaborative practice. Results for both groups were analyzed separately, with comparisons between groups to compare responses with similar questions.

Results: Survey response rates were 78.6% and 7.1% for pharmacists and physicians, respectively. Both groups overwhelmingly agreed that collaborative practice could result in improved patient outcomes and agreed that major barriers were lack of time and compensation and the need to deal with multiple pharmacists/physicians. Physicians indicated they would like more collaboration for insurance approvals and patient counselling, while pharmacists want to assist with identifying and managing patients' drug-related problems. Both groups want more collaboration to improve patient adherence.

Conclusion: Both groups agree that collaborative practice can positively affect patient outcomes and would like more collaboration opportunities. However, physicians and pharmacists disagree about the areas where they would like to collaborate to deliver care. Changes to reimbursement models and infrastructure are needed to facilitate enhanced collaboration between pharmacists and physicians in the community setting.