Gap Analysis of Interprofessional Communication Between Pharmacists and Oral Health Care Providers in Community Practices Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • May 15, 2019
  • Woodworth, Katharine
    • Affiliation: Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • Current interprofessional communication techniques are inefficient and ineffective, leading to provider frustration, suboptimal patient care, and community-wide implications. Oral health care providers (OHCPs) in the United States prescribe high numbers of antibiotics and immediate release opioids, and have practice sites that are physically isolated from other healthcare professionals, making communication more challenging. This study was conducted to identify barriers to effective communication between community pharmacists and oral health care providers in order to: (1) inform processes for improving provider education and (2) inform training methods of future pharmacists. A mixed-methods approach was used. Community pharmacists with an active North Carolina (NC) license were eligible to participate, and were recruited via email from Continuing Education offices. The electronic survey assessed current communication methods, obstacles to optimal communication, and comparisons of OHCPs to other prescribers. Survey participants were asked to self-identify their interest in telephone interviews, which used thematic coding to assess the role of the pharmacist in combatting public health issues such as opioid abuse through interprofessional collaboration. There were 125 participants (response rate 9%) for the survey and 7 participants for the interviews. The most common reasons pharmacists contact OHCPs are to address incomplete prescriptions (40%) and medication-related problems (35%), with the most common medication-related problems being adverse drug reactions (35%) or cost issues (25%). Obstacles to communication identified as more challenging included lack of time and lack of professional relationships. Pharmacists’ impressions of OHCPs were largely positive. Possible strategies to address identified communication barriers include creation of a universal communication system and establishment of networks between pharmacists and community providers. This study lays the groundwork for future efforts in the field of interprofessional education research and practice, which can be used to improve delivery of community-based care.
Resource type
  • Sanders, Kimberly
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
Academic concentration
  • Pharmacy
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2019
  • English

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