Bridging the Location Gap: Physician Perspectives of Physician - Pharmacist Collaboration in Patient Care (BRIDGE Phase II)

Keri D. Hager, Donald Uden, Daniel Tomaszewski


Background: To optimize patient outcomes, the patient-centred medical home model emphasizes comprehensive team-based care. Pharmacists are qualified to enhance appropriate medication use and help improve patient outcomes through provision of medication therapy management (MTM) services. To optimally provide MTM, pharmacists must effectively collaborate with physicians. This study explored factors that influence pharmacist-physician collaboration.

Methods and Findings: A convenience sample of five physicians participated in semi-structured interviews and the resulting data were analyzed using qualitative methods. Transcripts of the interviews were independently coded for themes by two researchers. Five themes emerged: trustworthiness, role specification, relationship initiation, effects on practice, and professional awareness/expectations.

Conclusions: Overall interviewees spoke positively about pharmacists; however, when discussing collaboration, they spoke almost exclusively about pharmacists within their clinic. Since most pharmacists practice outside of clinics, bridging the location gap is imperative for collaboration. In addition, physicians lacked an overall understanding of pharmacists’ training and clinical capacity. This may inhibit pharmacists from participating to their full professional capability within integrated healthcare teams. One approach to resolve this lack of physician understanding of pharmacists’ role and value may be to co-educate health professional students. Further research is needed to explore ways to improve interprofessional collaborative care.


medication therapy management, interprofessional, collaboration, pharmacist

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