Pharmacy roles tipped to expand

11 January 2023

If 2023 promises anything for the healthcare industry, it’s increased complexity in decision-making around digital transformation and healthcare professional development — but in looking forward, patterns and paths are emerging.

According to Wolters Kluwer, 2023 is poised to be one in which pandemic-field disruption morphs into coalescing areas of clarity and reduced variability.

The company says forging a path forward will require high-level, holistic perspectives and has used its decades of experience in the industry to simplify into three spheres of predicted change.

One area of change is that it predicts pharmacy roles will continue to expand.

Globally, pharmacists played a critical role during the COVID-19 public health emergency, supporting patient education and ensuring the supply of non-routinely stocked medicines in hospitals.

Pharmacy technicians also stepped into the spotlight, providing mass immunisation and gaining public visibility in medication dispensing and interventions, and in point-of-care testing and specimen collection.

Clinical Program Manager Annie Lambert expects to see this trend accelerate.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are often the most accessible healthcare providers in their communities. Both roles will continue to see an evolution in their scope of practice to include direct patient care that will only increase in the year ahead,” she said.

This shift is colliding with the “retailification” of healthcare, as US-based pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens fuel consumerisation with pushes into the primary care and home health spaces. But the result is the potential for more clinical fragmentation and a need to prevent emerging silos.

Greg Samios, President and CEO of Clinical Effectiveness, sees this as an opportunity to build more order into the patient’s healthcare journey through technology.

“Clinical decision tools capable of bridging the gaps between settings will be needed to eliminate care variability, better coordinate care, and ensure a single source of evidence-based information exists at every touchpoint,” he said.

This potential for change will be driven by regulations and restrictions that have largely been relaxed during the public health emergency. Expect this shift to continue as a new pharmacy practice model emerges.

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Page last updated on: 11 January 2023