A Vision for the Future of a Healthy Alberta
April 1, 2017
The 10-year roadmap sets out a clear path for how Alberta’s pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will contribute to the sustainable health and wellbeing of individuals and communities by practicing at full scope. It’s a commitment to work with all healthcare professionals to make a real difference. And it explores the intended outcome: healthier, happier Albertans.
“We’ve always prided ourselves in Alberta as being leaders. In many ways, we are leading pharmacy practice across Canada,” said Greg Eberhart, Registrar for the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP). “If we’re going to be leaders, we need to have a longer vision. By working together with sister organizations within the pharmacy community, we’ve created a platform to work collectively towards a common vision.”
ACP collaborated with the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA), Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta (PTSA), and Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Alberta Branch (CSHP-AB)—with input from other health care organizations, government representatives, and the public—to create the vision.
“It unites us as a profession,” said CSHP-AB President Sheri Koshman. “It’s important all the players involved in medication management, from drug distribution to the patient, are on the same page and working towards a common vision. This is the first time this has really happened, that we’ve all come to the table, which is exciting. It’s also important to take this vision and share it with other health care organizations because sometimes pharmacy gets forgotten in some of these discussions.”
The Vision is based on six themes where pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can make an impact:
- Integrated technology
- Quality drug distribution
- Engaging health system
As scopes of pharmacy practice have evolved, providing altruistic, person-centered care has become a larger focus. It’s not just about treating disease. It’s about preventing disease and helping individuals achieve their health goals.
“It’s important to deliver that type of care and shift from what we’ve seen historically—a product-centric model, which is all about filling the prescriptions and getting the drugs ready—to actually meeting the care needs of the patients themselves,” said PTSA President Teresa Hennessey. “We want to involve the patient and partner with them, providing the care they need and want.”
The vision also calls on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to not only meet professional standards and expectations, but exceed them. Standards are established as a baseline, a minimum. By exceeding what’s expected of them, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be more able to provide the best care possible.
“I think that’s why the document is visionary,” said RxA CEO Margaret Wing. “There has to be an expectation that we will exceed where we’re at. We’ve been so privileged in this province because we do have those scopes and those models that have supported us to advance this profession well beyond other provinces and other countries. But with those privileges, there’s an expectation that there would be better care.”
When the vision is realized, work environments of pharmacy teams will be a hub for the “community of care” in which all health care professionals work together for the benefit of individuals and families.