Integration of Clinical Pharmacy Services in Primary Healthcare in the United Arab Emirates: Indicators and Impacts

Main Article Content

Amar M. Hamrouni https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8283-5364
Suleiman I Sharif https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6897-5934
Abduelmula R Abduelkarem https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3540-0595
Mohammed M Hassanein https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4481-7779

Keywords

clinical pharmacy, primary healthcare, healthcare professional, United Arab Emirates, medical care

Abstract

Background: Clinical pharmacists are uniquely positioned to effectively bridge the gap between patients and physicians. However, there is still a lack of legislation and logistical enforcement in the provision of clinical pharmacy services. There is also lack of the effective collaboration between pharmacists and other healthcare professionals that ensures service standardization. The purpose of this study was to investigate healthcare professionals’ and students’ attitudes toward integrating clinical pharmacy services into primary care in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: Face-to-face structured interviews were conducted with 545 healthcare professionals and medical students from various medical institutions across the UAE over the course of three months (January to March 2021), using a 10-statement questionnaire that measured their level of agreement on a 3-point Likert scale. Results: The study interview was successfully completed by all respondents (response rate 100%). More than half of all healthcare professionals (pharmacists, physicians, and nurses) agreed that there is a growing interest in clinical pharmacy services in the UAE, but 27% said clinical pharmacists have performed such a role. Both physicians and nurses expressed an interest in working with a clinical pharmacist (94% and 98 %, respectively). A majority of physicians and nurses (76 % and 67 %, respectively) agreed that the clinical pharmacist could improve the quality of medical care in a hospital setting. Conclusion: Despite the positive attitudes observed among other healthcare professionals toward collaboration and the use of clinical pharmacists’ skills, it was discovered that the latter had not yet fulfilled their roles. There are still numerous obstacles that prevent pharmacists from expanding their role to include and provide optimal direct patient care.

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