Students as catalysts to increase community pharmacy-led direct patient care service

This study analyzed the effectiveness of an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) elective at 5 colleges of pharmacy in the U.S. that promotes patient care in a community setting. Partner for Promotion (PFP) is an elective that provides student pharmacists with the chance to learn and build patient-centered practice skills that are most often used in community pharmacies.

Over the course of 3 years, 15 different patient care services were implemented, such as MTM, immunizations and prevention services, under PFP by 38 student pharmacists. Faculty at the schools of pharmacy were trained on the PFP program, who recruited local pharmacies to implement it. Each year a survey was completed by the faculty members at the school evaluating the program and its efficacy. The study found that the faculty thought components that were most successful were things such as ease of access to materials for the program and communication among the faculty networks. 100% of the faculty who completed the surveys found PFP to be “very useful” (highest on a scale from 1 to 4).

While the University of Pittsburgh does an incredible job preparing us student pharmacists to be patient care providers, many other schools of pharmacy do not do as much. Programs like this can help prepare more students to be patient-centered practitioners. By training as many student pharmacists as possible in a manner that promotes direct patient care, pharmacists and especially students can greatly help shift our health care from quantity to quality.

Rodin JL, Ulbrich TR, Jennings BT, et al. Students as catalysts to increase community pharmacy-led direct patient care services. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2015;55:642-8.