2 June 2011
The good news for patients is that a recent survey conducted by the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (The Guild) indicates that a significant number of community pharmacists rate their average skill levels relatively highly.
The Guild’s Audit of Pharmacists’ Skill Set was conducted from December 2010 to February 2011, primarily via an online survey tool, and summarises information from 364 community pharmacists.
“This audit was conducted to get a greater understanding of the ways in which the Guild can help the profession in their personal drive for constant improvement,” says Chief Executive of the Guild, Annabel Young.
Demographic information from the participating pharmacists included gender, age, ethnicity, birth place, qualification, place of study, decade qualified, area practicing and Guild membership. Questions asked community pharmacists to rate on a scale of zero to 10, the importance of skills in four areas: communication skills, behavioural management skills, applied drug knowledge and regulatory compliance skills. They were also asked to rate on the same scale their personal level of each skill.
Pharmacists rated communication skills as the most important, and then applied drug knowledge, behavioural management skills and regulatory compliance skills.
“Pharmacists do an excellent job triaging patients that come into their pharmacy every day,” says Ms Young. “While the survey indicates that community pharmacists rate their skill levels as high, it is also clear that they feel they could benefit from additional training in regulatory compliance and communicating effectively.
“Community pharmacists feel bogged down by the bureaucratic requirements of every day practice. The time taken to manage regulatory compliance takes away from the valuable time spent managing their patients’ medicines and medical conditions.”
The survey showed that community pharmacists rated themselves below a seven out of ten in the area of managing regulatory compliance.
“Additional training in managing regulatory compliance would align well with the Government’s ‘Better, Sooner, More Convenient’ strategy of preventing secondary care admissions through better management at the primary care level. Pharmacists are well positioned and highly trained to do this”.
A copy of the Audit can be accessed on the home page of www.pgnz.org.nz.
Media contact: Annabel Young - 027 440 9160 or 04 802 8201
Ian Johnson – 021 621 592
For additional information: Julia Paterson-Fourie – 04 802 8211
• The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (Inc) is a national membership organisation representing community pharmacy owners. We provide leadership on all issues affecting the sector and we advocate for the business interests of community pharmacy.
• For additional information on the Guild and community pharmacy please go to www.pgnz.org.nz.