Enhancing Outcomes Research: The Experience of a Community Pharmacist Research Network
R. Leon Longe
A. Thomas Taylor
William E. Wade
William J. Spruill
The emphasis on healthcare in the US is shifting to the ambulatory environment. To date, few studies have evaluated the effects that community pharmacists have on patient care. In an attempt to address this issue, 4 academicians from a college of pharmacy developed a research network of community pharmacists, the Community Pharmacist Research Network (CPR-Net), to study pharmaceutical care outcomes in community pharmacies. CPR-Net practitioners are located throughout the state of Georgia, USA, and offer a variety of dispensing and clinical services. Research interests of these practitioners include pharmaceutical care, health-related quality of life (HR-QOL), pharmacoeconomics and product evaluation. Regarding specific disease states, CPR-Net members are most interested in studying diabetes mellitus, hypertension and asthma. The first project conducted was an assessment of the HR-QOL and adverse effects experienced by patients receiving antidepressant therapy. The pilot project demonstrated that pharmacists could have patients complete the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire in the community pharmacy setting and that community pharmacists could prospectively collect clinical outcomes data. Benefits of this partnership between the Clinical Outcomes Research Group (CORG) and CPR-Net include the opportunity to study pharmaceutical care in real world conditions. Conducting quality research in community pharmacies can be difficult and requires a close relationship between investigators and practitioners. Since most pharmacists practice in a community setting, we need applied research to study the pharmacist's unique contribution to healthcare.
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