An Investigation of Community Pharmacy Risk Management Regulation and Practices in the Context of an Expanding Role
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The practice of pharmacy has changed over recent years with a greater emphasis on the patient and the provision of patient care services. This expanded role of pharmacists as medication managers impacts on their responsibility and potential legal liability. However, there is a dearth of information about the effectiveness of the regulation of community pharmacy practice and it is not known to what extent regulatory requirements support the changed role. Additionally, limited information is available with regard to risk management practices in community pharmacy in the context of this expanding role. This exploratory study hence examined risk management regulation and practices in community pharmacy. The type and extent of potential liability was informed by officially recognised and endorsed professional practice standards and national and international case law. However, case law regarding the professional liability in civil actions of pharmacists is limited. Therefore, judicial decisions and legal principles generated through litigation involving other health professions provided the basis for extrapolating common principles that could be used to determine pharmacists’ potential liability. Qualitative methodology was used and various methods of data gathering were employed to provide in-depth information about pharmacy regulation and risk management. The methods chosen provided information about the extent to which endorsed practice standards were applied in disciplinary proceedings by the Pharmacists Board of Queensland in cases of professional misconduct; the utilisation of practice standards by community pharmacists and the risk management procedures implemented by them; and the diversity of pharmacy practice regulatory requirements throughout Australian jurisdictions. The analysis performed as part of the study provided information about the types of errors that lead to disciplinary action and insight into the factors underpinning the decisions of the Pharmacists Board of Queensland in making determinations and formulating outcomes. The findings of interviews with community pharmacists demonstrated a need for them to increase their knowledge of the essential processes involved in practice services to improve risk management and ensure the provision of safe patient care services. Legislative inconsistencies between states and territories that directly impact on risk management in pharmacy practice were also highlighted, indicating a need for the harmonisation of regulation. The study highlighted the need to improve risk management regulation and practices in community pharmacy in the context of expanding services. The initial base of evidence suggests implications for regulatory authorities, pharmacy professional organisations and individual practitioners, which are outlined in the final chapter.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Pharmacy
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Published papers submitted with thesis have not been published here.
Patient care services