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Dr Marie Sartain

Most patients see pharmacists as crucial part of their health care team

Nearly 80% of patients said they see pharmacists as an integral part of their health care team, according to a new survey from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The Prescription of Trust report, which surveyed more than 3,000 patients; 1,000 pharmacists; and 500 medical providers—including physicians and nurse practitioners—was designed to more deeply understand the expanding role of pharmacists in transforming patient care.

Overall, the survey found that amid growing provider shortages, pharmacists in the United States are well-trusted by patients and projected to play an increasingly integral role in care management. However, more advanced training for pharmacists is needed to meet growing demand and fill gaps in care.

Roughly 53% of pharmacists agreed their current training and education is sufficient to manage patients. However, pharmacists did identify opportunities for additional training in chronic disease education, diagnosing, and prescribing.

“The results of the report are clear. Most people trust pharmacists to play a greater role in providing their care. As the shortage of doctors and nurses persists, and as complex new therapies and digital health care technology solutions are developed, the role of the pharmacist will continue to evolve,” said John McHugh, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with Express Scripts.

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