Study: Pharmacists’ role on healthcare team expanding
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Results released Thursday from the Pharmacy Workforce Center’s 2014 National Pharmacist Workforce Survey indicate that pharmacists are performing more patient care activities in a variety of healthcare settings, and spending less time in the traditional dispensing role.
The 2014 report also reveals that pharmacy has shifted toward a female-dominated profession, with more women than men serving as actively practicing pharmacists and in management positions.
This study is the fourth in a series of surveys conducted by the Midwest Pharmacy Workforce Research Consortium, which has been commissioned by the Pharmacy Workforce Center since 2000. Data was collected from a random sample of 5,200 individuals selected from a list of 7,000 licensed pharmacists in the United States. Response rate to the survey was 48%.
“The National Pharmacist Workforce Survey has once again pinpointed important shifts in the pharmacist workforce and reveals valuable insight about how pharmacists spend their time,” stated Douglas Scheckelhoff, VP of the Office of Practice Advancement at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and president of PWC. “A notable shift identified in the 2014 survey is that more pharmacists are working in patient care roles and providing more patient care services than in any previous survey. Demographic changes are also notable, with a majority of the active pharmacy workforce (57%) now being women, up from 46% just five years ago.”
Over the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of pharmacists who are performing healthcare-related services. Sixty percent of pharmacists provided medication therapy management and 53% performed immunizations in 2014, compared with only 13% and 15%, respectively, in 2004.
The percentage of time that full-time pharmacists spent on services associated with medication dispensing decreased from 55% in 2009 to 49% in 2014. Patients have greater access to pharmacists’ services in a variety of settings than in past years. In 2014, 48% of chain pharmacies and 57% of supermarkets offered health screenings. This is a stark contrast to the percentage of pharmacists who reported offering those services in 2004: only 7% of chain pharmacies and 27% of supermarkets, respectively.
In 2014, more than 25% of hospitals and other patient care settings have collaborative practice agreements in place, thus allowing pharmacists to expand their role as an integral member of the patient’s healthcare team. The pharmacy profession continues to provide growing opportunities for women. In addition to women now comprising the majority of the active workforce, the proportion of women who served in pharmacy management positions was greater than men for the first time since the workforce surveys began in 2000. In 2014, 55% of managers were female and 45% were male. This compares with 41% female managers in 2009, 41% in 2004 and 37% in 2000.
Women are also taking advantage of career opportunities outside of retail, supermarket and hospital pharmacy. The highest representation of females was in industry and other non-patient care settings, at 66% and 61%, respectively.
When it comes to pharmacists’ careers, two trends emerged from the 2014 survey data. The first is that more than 50% of pharmacists stated that they have a high level of career commitment. In 2014, 66% of pharmacists reported feeling this way, which is a slight increase from 65% in 2004 and significantly greater than 50% reported in 2000. Pharmacists are also spending an average of 7.9 years with their employer according to the 2014 survey, which is only slightly less than the average tenure of a pharmacist in 2009 at 8.2 years.
The second trend supports the idea that pharmacy graduates can expect more career opportunities in the future as the older male pharmacist workforce continues to enter retirement age. Nearly 50% of actively practicing male pharmacists are over 55 years old, thus approaching retirement age and eventually leaving the profession.
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CVS Health, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to be honored for pharmacy training initiative
BOSTON — Associated Industries of Massachusetts announced on Thursday that CVS Health and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission will receive the 17th Annual John Gould Education & Workforce Development Award for their Health Pharmacy Technician Program.
The award will be presented at AIM’s 100th Annual Meeting at the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel.
The award was established in 1998 to recognize the contributions of individuals, employers, and institutions to the quality of public education and the advancement, employability, and productivity of residents of the Commonwealth. In 2000, the award was named after John Gould, upon his retirement as president and CEO of AIM, to recognize his work to improve the quality of public education and workforce training activities in Massachusetts.
The Pharmacy Technician Training Program, created in partnership with the MRC, has become one of CVS Health’s signature training programs and serves as a model of the commonwealth’s commitment to job-driven training. The program is an eight-week training session for MRC consumers who are seeking employment and have shown interest in careers in health services.
To support the program, CVS Health has shared its pharmacy technician training curriculum and provided access to its learning-management system. MRC provides added resources and expertise around soft-skills training and job readiness to meet the needs of MRC consumers while addressing CVS Health’s staffing needs.
The first cohort of the program was conducted during the summer of 2014 with nearly 30 pre-screened, qualified candidates. That group yielded an 89% success rate, based on the number of trainees hired. The second class graduated 43 consumers on March 23 in a ceremony held in the Great Hall of Flags at the State House. Several graduates have already obtained employment and others are moving forward in the employment process with CVS.
“The most critical challenge before us is affording every citizen the opportunity to participate in and contribute to building our commonwealth’s future,” said Richard Lord, AIM’s president and CEO. “We are pleased and proud to honor this successful collaboration between a major employer and a key public agency to prepare motivated people for productive and rewarding career paths.”