With an aging population and a growing number of individuals needing both medical and pharmaceutical care, the pharmacy industry is certainly not slowing down anytime soon. The BLS predicts employment of pharmacy technicians will grow 12 percent through 2026, which is a rate higher than the average occupation.
Good News: This excerpt from the report will make your day – “PHARMACISTS AS PROVIDERS Nearly 80% of FPs predicted that at least 25% of health systems will have a formal plan for including pharmacists, along with nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, in advanced roles that allow primary-care physicians to care for more patients (item 4). Supporting the high level of agreement with this statement is the shortage of primary-care physicians, proposed federal legislation to grant provider status to pharmacists, and a large number of states that authorize pharmacists to establish collaborative practice agreements with physicians. 2 Recent changes in reimbursement rules related to complex chronic care and transitional care management3 support the addition of pharmacists to primary-care teams. Many health systems will be establishing a privileging process for pharmacists to ensure that those with expanded patient care roles have the necessary competence for those roles.”
Trends- Health-system operations are changing rapidly in response to the trends in health care payments, the shift from ambulatory care to outpatient care, quality measurements, and patient empowerment through data. Health care systems will need to get creative when it comes to offering the highest quality of care at the lowest cost.
Technological aspects – When it comes to health information technology, system-wide integration is becoming critical. Advances in technology are leading to centralized patient care plans and enhanced safety if used effectively. Training and quality improvement plans are essential in this area to ensure technology is being used to provide maximum benefits to patients and providers alike.
Unfortunate political aspects – As for the presidential election, health systems are left feeling uncertain. The election could lead to health care reform of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is predicted that President Trump is unlikely to support provider status for pharmacists and that he is unlikely to influence drug pricing.
The pharmacy workforce is experiencing a shift in roles, responsibilities, and training. Pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in patient care. There has been significant growth in the number of new pharmacy graduates in recent years. Students need to be integrated into pharmacy teams as productive, contributing members. And lastly, it is noted that a formal career ladder for the pharmacy technician would benefit many health system pharmacies.