Pharmacist workforce researchers are predicting a potential surplus of pharmacists in the United States that might result in pharmacists being available for engagement in new roles. The objective for this study was to describe consumer opinions regarding medication use, the health care system, and pharmacists to help identify new roles for pharmacists from the consumer perspective. Data were obtained from the 2015 and 2016 National Consumer Surveys on the Medication Experience and Pharmacist Roles. Out of the representative sample of 36,673 respondents living in the United States, 80% (29,426) submitted written comments at the end of the survey. Of these, 2178 were specifically about medicines, pharmacists or health and were relevant and usable for this study. Thematic analysis, content analysis, and computer-based text mining were used for identifying themes and coding comments. The findings showed that 66% of the comments about medication use and 82% about the health care system were negative. Regarding pharmacists, 73% of the comments were positive with many commenting about the value of the pharmacist for overcoming fears and for filling current gaps in their healthcare. We propose that these comments might be signals that pharmacists could help improve coordination and continuity for peoples’ healthcare and could help guide the development of new service offerings.
Schommer JC, Brown LM, Bortz R(A), et al. An opportunity for pharmacists to help improve coordination and continuity of patient health care. Pharmacy. 2018;6:78. doi:10.3390/pharmacy6030078
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