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Practice change in community pharmacy: using change-management principles when implementing a pharmacy asthma management service in NSW, Australia

Authors


Correspondence

Dr Bandana Saini, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Room S303, Building A15, Science Road, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

E-mail: bandana.saini@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

Objective

This study aimed to investigate the application of a research-based change-management tool, the Pharmacy Change Readiness Wheel (PCRW), in practice, and the impact it had on the implementation of an asthma service (Pharmacy Asthma Management Service or PAMS).

Methods

All pharmacists implementing the PAMS in the state of New South Wales, Australia, were provided training using a custom-designed module explaining change readiness as it applied to the PAMS. This training and a self-administered PCRW checklist were completed before PAMS implementation. Following PAMS service delivery, semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with the pharmacists and any additional staff involved regarding their experiences of change management. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and content analysed.

Key findings

Thirty seven of the forty five pharmacies who delivered PAMS returned the PCRW checklist (82% response rate) and participants from 29 pharmacies were interviewed (29 pharmacists and six additional staff). Perception of readiness for change before service delivery was remarkably high. From the interviews conducted after service delivery it was evident that systematic management of the practice change using theoretical concepts had not really been undertaken and that many challenges were faced in the implementation of practice change (PAMS). The results of the content analysis from the interviews revealed that factors external or internal to the pharmacy or those related to the individual pharmacist could affect implementation of practice change.

Conclusion

Change is not as straightforward as it may appear and is a multi-step process over time. Pharmacists were unaware of this. A change-management framework should be applied to specific services with enough flexibility so that pharmacists can individualise them for their pharmacies.

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