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Unlocking the value: Communicating the value of the pharmacist to the patient

Saumitra V Rege, Celia MacDonnell

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate student pharmacists’ perspectives of the value that they provide to their patients.

Methods: Third year (P3) professional pharmacy students were required to complete an educational workshop programme integrated into the Professional Practice Skills Laboratory. Prior to, and after the completion of the audio- visual teaching, an Institutional Review Board approved, anonymous, voluntary paper-based survey was distributed to all students. These surveys were intended to assess the perceptions of pharmacy students towards the value of the services they provide. The authors examined student opinions regarding the services most important to their patients, as well as their response to the contents of the workshop. The post-workshop survey also evaluated the impact of the exercise on the students’ ability to have gained new insights on addressing the issues they might have in communicating their value and their ideas regarding the ideal patient attitude to the services provided by the pharmacist. The survey was analysed descriptively.

Results: Four hundred and seventy-seven students completed the survey. In the baseline survey, 37% of the students believed that providing accurate clinical information was the most critical service they provided to the patients, with 50% of the students highlighting cost and insurance questions as the most frustrating aspect of their daily routine. The educational workshop was generally well received with 66% of the students strongly agreeing that the speaker met the goals. In the post-workshop survey, 77.7% of the students reported being better equipped to communicate their value to patients by moving the conversation from other issues to the clinical aspects of care. In the baseline survey, 30.2% of the students indicated that clinical information and accurate dispensing were the most important services to the patients. As a result of the exercise, a higher proportion of students (66%) in the post-workshop survey wanted this to be the most valuable service according to the patients.

Conclusions: Clinical aspects of care were of most value according to the pharmacy students. As a result of the educational workshop, students gained a new perspective to shift the conversations with the patients to these aspects. The workshop demonstrated a positive impact on student perceptions of ideal patient attitude towards the role of the pharmacists.


Keywords

Pharmacy Services; Value, Students; Pharmacy; Clinical Counselling; Customer Service


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