Community chain pharmacists’ perceptions of increased technicians’ involvement in the immunization process

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Background: Over the past 2 decades, pharmacists have positioned immunization services as an important aspect of their expanding role in patient care. Objectives: To examine how community chain pharmacists view time spent on immunization, available in-store resources and barriers, and pharmacy technician involvement in the context of their views about the achievement of key National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Standards of Adult Immunization Practice in their workplace. Methods: A representative, nationwide survey was administered electronically to chain community pharmacists over a 4-week period. Community pharmacists offering year-round immunization in retail chain, supermarket, and mass-merchant settings, randomly sampled from a database maintained by the American Pharmacists Association. We examined several sets of interrelated relationships regarding pharmacists’ perceived achievement of 3 key NVAC standards (assessment, recommendation and administration), time spent on the overall immunization process, the effectiveness of available in-store resources, immunization impediments, and the endorsement of increased technician involvement in community pharmacy-based immunization service (PBIS) delivery. Results: A sample of 590 survey responses was obtained from 9717 e-mails delivered, with 489 deemed eligible (5% response rate). Sizeable numbers of pharmacists acknowledged that several activities integral to achieving optimal immunization levels were not being addressed. Although pharmacists accepted that appropriately trained pharmacy technicians should be able to ask (77%) and assess (66%) patients, only 24% agreed that technicians should be able to administer vaccine doses. Pharmacists satisfied with in-store immunization resources and technicians’ involvement were more likely to report achieving the 3 key NVAC standards. Paradoxically, how pharmacists viewed their immunization time expenditures was unrelated to whether they agreed that pharmacy technicians should have an expanded role in asking, assessing, or administering vaccines to their patients. Conclusion: Overall, community pharmacies would likely better meet national immunization goals by achieving all 3 key NVAC standards and incorporating expanded roles for appropriately trained and supervised technicians in PBIS.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kulczycki A; Grubbs J; Hogue MD; Shewchuk R
  • Start Page

  • 596
  • End Page

  • 604
  • Volume

  • 61
  • Issue

  • 5