Family medicine

The researches  find that the health-care professions, pharmacists have both professional and business objectives. The majority of Canadian pharmacies are located in communities as opposed to in hospitals; selling retail products, like cosmetics and food; in addition to filling prescriptions. Despite their dual professional and business responsibilities; Canadian research suggests pharmacy managers demonstrate high levels of professionalism and the retail setting does not compromise their ability to serve their patients.

The health-care professions

Today; Canadian pharmacists’ professional roles are expanding and broadening to further emphasize their professional scope. Pharmacists are taking on expand roles and are increasingly being recognize as the medication management experts of the health-care team. The comprehensive list of the expanded service offering by province and territory can be found on the Canadian Pharmacists Association’s website. My original interest in this topic started when I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Saskatchewan.

Now, as a faculty member in the Department of Management and Marketing at the Edwards School of Business; this continues to be one of my active research areas. In a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship; my University of Saskatchewan co-authors  Jason Perepelkin and David Di Zhang and I find that when retail pharmacies implement expanded services; they ultimately achieve both better professional and financial outcomes.

Expanded service offering

A pharmacy’s decision to offer expanded services depends on where the pharmacy is located; its organizational strategy and capabilities. Despite the varying degrees of legislation; 81 percent of Canadian pharmacists have intentionally expanded their role. Both the legislation and corresponding publicly funded remuneration programs have been implemented. Moreover; 45 percent of Canadian pharmacists plan to further expand their role as legislation changes permit.

Although pharmacists have evaluated their implementation of expanded services as successful, it remains to be seen how these new services impact patient health and the profitability  dual objectives  of retail pharmacies. Using data from 259 western Canadian retail pharmacies, they found that entrepreneurial pharmacies were the most likely to participate in the expanded services. Entrepreneurial pharmacies were those that were self-described by their owners and managers as actively innovating, willing to take some business risks and making proactive business decisions.

Patient health outcomes

They also find that the implementation of expanded services was related to favourable patient health outcomes. Favorable patient health outcomes included overall quality of care, patient prescription knowledge and prescription error reduction as reported by the pharmacy owner or manager. This suggests the expansion of pharmacy services is working as intended and patients are benefiting from the new activities performed by pharmacists.