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02/04/2022

APhA, NASPA release pharmacy workplace and well-being report findings

The American Pharmacists Association and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations released the first Welcome To Pharmacy Workplace and Well-Being Reporting trends and findings report.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The American Pharmacists Association and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations released the first Pharmacy Workplace and Well-being Reporting trends and findings report.

Since PWWR’s launch in October 2021, more than 400 reports have been submitted to PWWR from pharmacy supervisors to pharmacy support personnel across 43 states.

The positive experiences reported ranged from helping a patient understand and use their medication correctly to receiving positive feedback from a supervisor to discussing the implementation of new pharmacy processes before implementation. Those that submitted positive experiences indicated that those experiences would have a long-term effect on their well-being. The negative experiences reported included workload, staffing and pharmacy metrics.

[Read more: Breaking down barriers: Retail pharmacy is becoming a force in an unexpected area — providing mental health services] 

One key finding was that two-way lines of communication are not perceived to be open. Respondents did not believe that they were heard or that workplace recommendations were valued. Of the 70% who indicated that they discussed recommendations with their supervisor, the majority said that the recommendations were not considered or applied.

The second key finding was that harassment of pharmacy personnel by patients and consumers is real. The reported experiences ranged from verbal threats to actual physical harm or sexual harassment. Both key findings can serve as a roadmap for needed action.

PWWR is an ongoing online confidential and anonymous service for pharmacy personnel to report positive and negative experiences across all pharmacy practices. Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists are encouraged to submit positive and negative experience reports as often as they would like. Findings and trend reports of aggregated non-identifiable data such as this first one will be periodically issued.

The Alliance for Patient Medication Safety, a federally recognized patient safety organization, analyzes the reports submitted to PWWR. Reports are protected by the confidentiality and privilege provisions of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005. Actual submission reports to the PWWR cannot be disclosed or subpoenaed and are not subject to discovery in a legal proceeding.

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“Workplace issues across pharmacy practice and their relationship to personal well-being and patient safety continue to be a critical, complex issue. The more than 400 deidentified reports submitted since the October 2021 launch of PWWR tell a collective, powerful story that we hope will spark change and improvement in the pharmacy workplace. This first report identifies that those who submitted positive experiences indicated that those experiences would have a long-term positive effect on their well-being. The negative experiences submitted made a call for needed attention and provided a path for dialogue, change, and improvements,” said Scott Knoer, APhA executive vice president and CEO.

“Pharmacists have asked for a safe space to talk about what workplace issues that they are experiencing and to learn about solutions colleagues have instituted to make real changes in their pharmacy practice to better take care of their patients. PWWR is that safe place that gives voice and amplification to pharmacy personnel concerns and suggested solutions while mitigating the fear of reporting. This first PWWR trends and findings report is a call to action to model the positive experiences across pharmacy practice and take steps to address concerns such as harassment of pharmacy staff in the workplace,” said Rebecca Snead, NASPA executive vice president and CEO.

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