Linked to EAHP Statements Section 1 - Introductory Statements and Governance: Statements 1.1, 1.3
The scope of practice and the workload of the hospital pharmacist has expanded in the last decades. Traditionally, pharmacists focused on dispensing and compounding. Nowadays, we are still dispensing, we compound complex products, perform quality controls and are generally expected to be experts in all matters concerning pharmaceutical products and drug distribution. Newer tasks include bedside clinical pharmacy services where we educate patients, perform medication reconciliation and comprehensive medication reviews, are part of multidisciplinary team discussions.
Thus, the workload increases, but pharmacists generally do not dispose of or delegate tasks to make up for this. Also, pharmacists are traditionally trained to relentlessly check things (medication orders and procedures) to reduce the risks of medication errors. All of this results in a conflict between what pharmacists are used to do and what they are expected to do. Good leadership is then crucial - to prioritise tasks, to involve other members of the pharmacy team (such as pharmacy technicians) and to ensure tasks are still being performed efficiently and with adequate quality.
Within Europe, there is a great variety in how hospital pharmacies are organised, in the degree and qualification of supporting personnel available and the tasks that are performed by the supporting personnel. To get all the work done, now and in the future, hospital pharmacists need to show leadership within their teams - because they simply cannot do everything themselves anymore, especially since there is often a shortage of trained pharmacists. Furthermore, hospital pharmacists need to keep up with all changes in health care and this requires a critical look at how efficient pharmacy teams are and how they could evolve in the future.
So how do pharmacists use and empower their team members in different settings and countries? Which tasks can (and should?) be delegated and what training is needed for the supporting personnel? How could new IT solutions be used?
In this session, the participants will be shown examples of successful pharmacy teams where novel ideas of task sharing have been employed. In the following panel debate, potential barriers and solutions will be addressed.
Learning objectives: At the end of this panel session, participants will be able to: • describe how pharmacists have organised their teams in different settings; • list examples of tasks that pharmacists have delegated; • describe what is necessary to effectively work in teams.
Educational need addressed Hospital pharmacists should be aware of the challenges to effectively get work done and have a vision on how to use their pharmacy teams to the best.
Keywords: pharmacy teams, task specification within pharmacy teams, supporting personnel (e.g. pharmacy technicians), pharmaceutical care, management, diversity.