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Wiley, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 5(16), p. 309-315

DOI: 10.1211/ijpp.16.5.0006

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Integrating into family practice: The experiences of pharmacists in Ontario, Canada

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This paper is available in a repository.

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Abstract

Aims and objectives: This research examines the experiences of pharmacists as they integrated and adapted to meet the drug-related needs of family practice settings. Setting: This research took place in physician-fed group family medicine practices in Ontario, Canada. Each practice was in the process of integrating an on-site pharmacist. Methods: Qualitative design using monthly pharmacist narrative reports (over the first 4months of pharmacist integration) and N-VIVO qualitative analysis software. Four independent researchers with varied professional backgrounds used descriptive thematic editing analysis to determine process and content themes. The analysis team created a draft of themes and received writ-ten feedback from each pharmacist. Key findings: Four key themes emerged describing how pharmacists experienced the first several months working in family practice: (1) feelings: emotional challenges and victories; (2) establishing and building relationships: positive and negative experiences with physicians and staff, (3) learning new skills to contribute effectively and efficiently to patient care; and (4) strategies for integration: including practical demonstration of potential value to physicians to facilitate integration process. In addition, they identified a number of supports and constraints for integration. Conclusion: The pharmacists' narratives demonstrate the challenges and rewards of the integration process. Adaptability and practical demonstration of potential utilization and benefit were crucial in physician acceptance of the pharmacist program. This description of the pharmacists' journey will be helpful for pharmacists, managers, policy-makers, researchers and educators as more pharmacists enter this type of primary care practice.