Assessing the Size and Scope of the Pharmacist Workforce in the U.S.
Pharmacists are increasingly recognized as crucial members of the health care team. To date, no single source of information exists that best characterizes the increasingly complex nature of the pharmacist workforce. This study aimed to identify the many different settings where pharmacists work, their current and emerging roles, and the barriers and facilitators to greater involvement of pharmacists in patient care. We reviewed the literature and conducted interviews with key stakeholders from national pharmacy professional organizations. This study found that there is not a single, agreed upon categorization that captures the full range of pharmacists’ roles and functions. The most frequently mentioned roles for pharmacists identified from the literature and stakeholder interviews included medication dispensing, medication therapy management, chronic disease management, transition of care, and patient education, health promotion, and disease prevention. Pharmacist scope-of-practice laws and regulations vary by state with most states allowing prescriptive authority. Improving awareness of the potential roles of pharmacists would help to more effectively incorporate them into the health care team. As the pharmacist workforce expands its role in health care delivery, simultaneous changes in policies and financing are important to optimize the use of pharmacists to improve care.
Authors:Pollack SW, Skillman S, Frogner BK
Journal/Publisher:Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Washington
Citation:Pollack SW, Skillman S, Frogner BK. Assessing the Size and Scope of the Pharmacist Workforce in the U.S. Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Washington, Sep 2020.
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