Consumers and Carers Versus Pharmacy Staff: Do Their Priorities for Australian Pharmacy Services Align?
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BACKGROUND: Health professionals, including pharmacists, are encouraged to meet the needs of their consumers in an efficient and patient-centred manner. Yet, there is limited information as to what consumers with chronic conditions need from pharmacy as a healthcare destination or how well pharmacy staff understand these needs. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify service user priorities for ideal community pharmacy services for consumers with chronic conditions and their carers, and compare these priorities with what pharmacy staff think these groups want. METHODS: The nominal group technique was undertaken with pharmacist, pharmacy support staff, consumer and carer groups in four Australian regions between December 2012 and April 2013. Participant ideas and priorities for ideal services or care were identified, and contextual insight was obtained by thematic analysis. RESULTS: Twenty-one nominal group sessions are accepted, including 15 consumer and carer, four pharmacist and two pharmacy support staff groups. Pharmacy staff views generally aligned with consumer priorities, such as access, affordability, patient-centred care and continuity and coordinated care, yet diverged with respect to consumer information or education on medication and services. Fundamentally, consumers and carers sought streamlined access to information and medication, in a coordinated, patient-centred approach. Alleviating financial burden was a key consumer priority, with a call for the continuation and extension of medication subsidies. CONCLUSION: Overall, pharmacy staff had a reasonable understanding of what consumers would prioritise, but further emphasis on the importance, delivery, or both, of consumer information is needed. Greater consideration is needed from policy makers regarding the financial barriers to accessing medication for consumers with chronic conditions.
© 2014 Springer. This is an electronic version of an article published in The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, October 2015, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 411–422. The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.
Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice