Pharmacy Practice & Safety
Resources for Mental Health and Well-Being
Ensuring patient safety starts with a healthy, supported pharmacy staff. Visit our resource page to access tools and information that can help you manage mental health and well-being related to burnout and other work-related stressors.
Facilitating a New Pharmacy Practice Model
Pharmacists have long been regarded as one of the most accessible health care providers, with 89% of Americans living within 5 miles of a pharmacy. However, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic showed the public and legislators what the profession already knew – pharmacists have much more to contribute when they are enabled to practice at the top of their education and training. The weaknesses of the system were also put on display, however, as an overwhelmed system challenged the well-being of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and threatened patient safety.
The NABP Executive Committee, its member boards of pharmacy, and NABP staff embraced the challenge of overcoming these longtime challenges through their work on a variety of national and state initiatives.
Continuing the work of 2022-2023 NABP President Reginald B. “Reggie” Dilliard, DPh, we are working to facilitate a new pharmacy practice model that enhances and promotes patient safety. In 2022, the Work Group on Workplace Safety, Well-Being, and Working Conditions was held. They were charged to
- Review barriers in existing statutes or regulations that limit patient access to medication and care;
- Discuss opportunities to increase patient safety by enabling pharmacists to practice at the top of their education and training;
- Determine other extrinsic factors that foster unsafe working environments when delivering patient care not already identified by the Task Force on Workplace Safety and Well-Being; and
- Offer solutions to identified challenges.
After careful review and consideration, the work group recommended that:
- NABP collaborate with stakeholders to:
- identify new practice models that support pharmacists’ ability to provide patient care services; and
- identify/set meaningful standards for staffing to include but not be limited to:
- lunch breaks/shift lengths;
- clinical functions;
- use of automation technology; and
- use of pharmacy technicians.
- NABP review the Model Act to identify model act language that can create barriers to care and suggest edits to submit to the Committee on Law Enforcement/Legislation.
- NABP encourage industry stakeholders to amplify current messaging to educate patients about pharmacy operations to manage expectations.
- NABP encourage boards of pharmacy to consider pathways to innovation such as automation and central fill, reimagine new delivery models that support pharmacists’ ability to provide patient care services, and address staffing shortages.
- NABP encourage boards of pharmacy to review and revise regulations to utilize pharmacy technicians to augment the role of the pharmacist and to identify current pharmacist-only duties that could be safely and competently performed by non-pharmacist personnel.
Partnering with Stakeholders for Change
In June 2023 NABP, APhA, and ASHP hosted the “Implementing Solutions Summit: Building a Sustainable, Healthy Pharmacy Workforce and Workplace.” The event convened members of the pharmacy workforce from all pharmacy settings to identify key actions that will improve workplace conditions by addressing day-to-day challenges, removing obstacles to well-being, and advancing practice models for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
Enforcement Action Laws & Rules
Some boards of pharmacy may take enforcement action when working conditions are determined to be dangerous to patients. To assist boards of pharmacy and other stakeholders in assessing the need for changes, we have compiled these laws and rules into one document. The first section of the document includes findings with respect to a Board’s ability to use claims of negligence or other similar claims (eg, public safety concerns) to take enforcement action. The second section includes findings with respect to non-retaliation protections should a pharmacist (or other pharmacy staff member) report such concerns to the board.