Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Evaluation of Croatian Community Pharmacists' Patient Care Competencies Using the General Level Framework

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Evaluation of Croatian Community Pharmacists' Patient Care Competencies Using the General Level Framework

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Development of competences in pharmacy is a basic prerequisite for providing pharmacy care and being responsible for patient treatment outcomes, especially when task- and behavior-related competencies are required to deliver quality care. (1) The public health role of pharmacists using evidence-based practice to ensure patient safety and the best use of medicines, including individual patient and population outcomes, has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). (2)

Differences exist in pharmacy practice among countries. (3) Discrepancies, omissions, and inconsistencies in providing pharmaceutical care at the national level are present in many countries. (4-6) Assurance of quality and higher standards in professional performance are being sought by health professionals, patients, and regulators. Ways in which healthcare services and standards for healthcare delivery can be improved are being examined in many countries, such as systems to ensure the quality of education and training for pharmacy students and the ongoing competence of practitioners. (7)

In recent years, efficient programs for the evaluation and development of pharmacy competencies and education models promoting increased competence have been of the utmost interest to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). (8,9) One such model has been supported via the General Level Framework (GLF) in Great Britain, developed by the Competency Development and Evaluation Group (CoDEG) in 2005. (10)

GLF studies of postgraduate students and pharmacists employed in hospital pharmacies have been conducted in Great Britain and Australia. (11,12) Research studies also have been conducted of pharmacists delivering pharmaceutical care in community pharmacies in Great Britain. (13) The extrapolation of discovered patterns in community pharmacies in Croatia as a new field of investigation is presented in this study.

General Level Framework (GLF)

The General Level Framework (14) is a tool that allows for the defining, measuring, and developing of professional and scientific behavioral competencies in delivering pharmaceutical care among a selected group of pharmacists. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on a competency framework that supports the development of pharmacists as safe, effective, general level practitioners. In primary care this general level is usually related to the services delivered by pharmacists working either full time or part time, providing audit support and/or medication review services, and pharmacists working in the community. Pharmacists working as a project or team leaders may want to consider the Advanced and Consultant Level Competency Framework (ACLF), as this may be more suitable to their needs. (14) The GLF allows accurate determination of a precise described meanings and level of such competencies. (10,11,15)

There is a strong connection between competency and performance. Multiple-choice tests, oral examinations, or essays can be used to test factual knowledge, but more sophisticated methods are needed to assess performance, including observation, objective structured clinical examinations, and role play using standardized or real patients. (16)

Community Pharmacy in Croatia

In Croatia, an Eastern European country with a population of 4.5 million, pharmacies are a part of the primary health care system. Some pharmacies are state-owned (20.4%), and others are owned by 1 pharmacist (27.6%), but the majority are part of pharmacy chains owned by pharmacists and/or non-pharmacists (50%). (17) Although pharmaceutical care and the new role of pharmacists in health care have been promoted in Croatia over the past few decades, the primary role of community pharmacists remains supplying and dispensing drugs and compounding medicines. (18)

Pharmacists' licences are renewed every 6 years via the competent authority (Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists) and based mostly on points earned through attendance at organized education events. …

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