Top 10 emerging roles within community pharmacy

What do the paths look like for community pharmacists, and how would they get paid for these?

At PSA19 in Sydney over the weekend, Emeritus Professor Charlie Benrimoj gave a presentation on the opportunities available for community pharmacists within a health hub pharmacy model.

This includes pharmacists branching out into specialisations.

E/Prof Benrimoj shared the top 10 emerging professional roles within community pharmacy, providing the following services.

  1. General Service Pharmacist: For Community Pharmacy Agreement service providers, covering clinical interventions; general, diabetes and pain MedsCheck; Home Medicines Reviews; and additional new programs.
  2. Adherence Pharmacist: Programs for new and continuing medications.
  3. Point of Care Pharmacist: Prevention, wellness programs and detection (point of care testing).
  4. Self-Care Pharmacist: Triage to general practice and emergency departments; minor ailments; pharmacy only products.
  5. Vaccination and Immunisation Pharmacist: Influenza and travel vaccine administration.
  6. Paediatric Pharmacist: Infant care, baby care and mother care.
  7. Aged Care Pharmacist: Ambulatory elderly patients; sessional basis to care centres; and domiciliary visits.
  8. Disease State Management Pharmacist: Diabetes; cardiovascular disease; asthma; mental health; single or co-pathologies.
  9. GP Pharmacist within Community Pharmacy: Sessional basis to GP surgeries.
  10. Medication Safety Pharmacist: Pharmacoepidemiology; data analysis of health records and dispensing data

“There’s a population health need for services in these areas. Essentially what we’re doing is promoting roles that would have increased health outcomes in people,” E/Prof Benrimoj told AJP.

“The way of picking these roles, what I did was look at where the market would be and more importantly where the trends in primary healthcare are.

“If you look at the prevention role obviously people are going to be more interested in prevention in the future. As part of that role it’s important for pharmacists to have point of care testing and wellness programs.

“If you look at the medication safety one, you’ll see that obviously medication safety is a major issue, and medications keep being prescribed for people, we have to have a systemised and structured way of picking [errors] up in practice.”

He said a health hub professional services model would see pharmacists specialising in these areas, ideally one person per pharmacy.

“All these roles don’t have to be a full time equivalent, they can be more – it all depends on the size of the pharmacy, where it is and the population it services.”

Could a pharmacist pick up more than one of these roles at any one time?

E/Prof Benrimoj said: “It depends on the environment, not everybody is going to do everything.”

The GP pharmacist role was a good example, he said.

A community pharmacist could be provided on a sessional basis to GP surgeries near them, but when they’re at the pharmacy they could have a different role.

“The important thing is going to be deciding the levels of competencies for each of these roles and obviously the remuneration structure.”

He pointed to the PSA’s recent Roles and Remuneration report for an idea of what pharmacists should be paid in these roles.

“What we need to do is map these roles across those structures,” he told AJP.

“That will very much be dependent on the competencies that pharmacists have and the depth of knowledge.

“I think that now we have the PSA suggestions of a foundation and those levels, I think what we could do is start mapping these against that so we’ve got a standard remuneration system.”

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  1. Bruce ANNABEL

    Please don’t make it so complex and avoid placing professional service pharmacists into neat and tidy boxes. This may suit some but it’s not practical or commercial.

    • Jacqueline Hagidimitriou

      Agree – I look at that list and in the pharmacy I’m in which has a large emphasis on professional services, all of our pharmacists perform multiple services that fit into several of those categories. I think you can’t be a good pharmacist nowadays and just dispense medication. Nor would you want to – some of the most rewarding parts of my job is when I can directly connect with a customer in a deeper way and help them with their health condition

  2. Jim Tsaoucis

    with all due respect to all parties….this will become an academic (theoretical) vs real-world (business) discussion. What looks good on paper may not work very well in practise. This smacks so much of political correctness, trying to pigeon hole everything. In a very big business this structure may be workable but I would hate to be the HR manager. ” that was your job…No, I thought it was yours…..or more likely cross-over of roles for same patient” In a small business there will be so many part-time staff to contend with and following up with this miriad of people out of their work hours. I’m sure others will see many other areas which will be un-workable at the coal face.

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