Purpose. The characteristics of and trends in pharmacy practice in ambulatory care settings across the United States were studied. Methods. A 2004 national survey of the ambulatory care responsibilities of pharmacists across a spectrum of organizational types (community hospitals, county facilities, Indian Health Services facilities, Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, teaching institutions, integrated health networks, military facilities, and health maintenance organizations) was conducted and related to organizational features that could promote pharmacist participation. Results. From 1672 deliverable Web-based surveys, 233 organizations reported at least some pharmacist involvement in ambulatory activities, while 475 reported none. Over half of the 228 organizations with some pharmacist involvement reported pharmacists tracking adverse drug reactions (67%), providing written (53%) or oral (52%) information with new prescriptions, and conducting medication management programs (51%). Some 85% reported having at least one clinic with pharmacist involvement. Clinics for anticoagulation services (36%) and oncology services (28%) were most prevalent, followed by primary care or family practice clinics (23%) and diabetes clinics (21%). New survey items found a high prevalence of pharmacist involvement in emergency preparedness programs (90%), medication management services in complex medication situations (63%), and using evidence-based practice guidelines (60%). Of nine enabling factors (factors potentially promoting pharmacist involvement) investigated, participation on multidisciplinary teams and having collaborative practice agreements were significantly associated with pharmacist participation in at least one ambulatory care activity. Having at last one ambulatory care staff pharmacist with advanced training, having at least one residency program, and having collaborative practice agreements were significantly associated with pharmacist participation in at least one clinic or program. Pharmacist participation in ambulatory care activities was not equally distributed across different types of organizations, and VA facilities were notable for the amount and extent of participation. Conclusion. Pharmacists' roles and responsibilities in ambulatory care appear to continue to evolve, with VA facilities leading the way. Copyright Â© 2005, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_okamoto/9/