Services provided by community pharmacies in Queensland

Stewart, Kay (1989). Services provided by community pharmacies in Queensland PhD Thesis, School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland.

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Author Stewart, Kay
Thesis Title Services provided by community pharmacies in Queensland
School, Centre or Institute School of Pharmacy
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1989
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor -
Total pages 378
Language eng
Subjects 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Formatted abstract The expansion of pharmaceutical knowledge, coupled with consumer demand to participate in health care, has created a need for extension of the variety and quality of pharmacists' expertise in health maintenance. In response, some practitioners have diversified their practices into the provision of specialized health related services.

The aims of the thesis were, firstly, to determine the nature and extent of services being provided from community pharmacies in Queensland, to identify practices providing specific services, and to examine relationships between service provision and demographic and business factors. Secondly, an area of innovative service provision (diabetic services) was selected as a case study into specialization within community pharmacy practice. The aims of the case study were to document the services being offered, the types of diabetic stock held, and the degree of counselling involvement with diabetic patients. Historical, educational and motivational aspects were also investigated. To aid understanding of the developmental process, active pharmacies were classified into levels of service provision.

A "Survey of Services from Community Pharmacies in Queensland, 1984" confirmed that pharmacists were performing duties related to dispensing of prescription medications and to provision of primary health care, and that many were offering other health-related services of a specialized nature. The major health related services offered were hire of invalid or health care aids (53.2%), sports medicine services (37.3%), pregnancy testing (35.6%), diabetic services (15.2%), and hypertensive services (8.3%). Seventy percent of pharmacies were providing at least one of these services.

The "Survey of Diabetic Services from Community Pharmacies in Queensland, 1986-87" found that activities were broadly divided into three groups: services, supply and counselling. Services included provision of information to diabetic patients, and blood glucose monitoring. All pharmacies reported keeping ranges of stock of a wide variety of constantly needed goods associated with diabetic care. Only about half of them kept less frequently demanded items.

Pharmacists were involved in counselling diabetic patients about a diverse range of topics. The areas of major involvement were counselling purchasers of blood glucose monitors about their use, and counselling about oral hypoglycaemic therapy.

Pharmacists involved mostly did not have qualifications beyond the basic requirements of Ph.C. or B.Pharm. They tended to be members of professional and merchandising groups. Over 70% of pharmacists reported regular readership of journals, and journal reading was identified as a major source of information about diabetes. Only about a quarter of the pharmacies appeared to have specific diabetes reference texts available.

Presence of Diabetic Association Support Group did not appear to inhibit the development of diabetic services in community pharmacies. The trend was for higher proportions of city centre and regional shopping centre pharmacies to be providing diabetic services. The physical size of the pharmacy and the annual turnover also differed significantly between providers and nonproviders, with greater proportions of larger pharmacies with higher turnovers being involved.

Professional and altruistic reasons were cited as the major influences on the decision to provide a diabetic service. Pharmacists saw the service as a way to increase professional satisfaction, had a personal interest in diabetes, had a number of diabetic customers, and recognized the need of their diabetic customers for assistance. The prospect of making a profit was a less important factor. Support from external sources was apparently minor. The great majority of pharmacies had begun their involvement since 1980, probably due to the advent of blood glucose monitoring and the sale of monitors through pharmacies. Provision of specialized diabetic services from community pharmacies in Queensland appears to have been the result of the efforts of motivated practitioners.

Grouping of pharmacies specializing in diabetic services resulted in the formation of two clusters providing lower and higher levels of service. The features distinguishing between the groups were that higher service level providers were more likely to be providing information to patients by sophisticated means, more likely to be performing blood glucose monitoring, more likely to assist clients with alternative means of monitoring during repair times, and more involved in counselling on wider aspects of diabetic care.

A plan was suggested for the controlled development of the trend towards specialization in community pharmacy.
Keyword Drugstores -- Queensland
Pharmacy management -- Queensland
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

 
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