4 research outputs found

    An Exploration of the Suitability of Pharmacy Education in Saudi Arabia to Prepare Graduates to Meet Healthcare Needs: a Mixed-Methods Study

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    The key role of pharmacists within the health system, particularly in optimising safe, responsible and effective use of medicines, underpins the demand for a highly skilled and competent workforce. Therefore, developing the capacity of pharmacists to attain and maintain essential competencies relevant to the population’s health needs is required to ensure a high standard of patient care, thereby helping to improve patient and population health. In Saudi Arabia, little evidence exists regarding the assessment of national educational programmes’ structure and outcomes. Moreover, no national competency framework exists for pharmacists in any sector or stage of practice. In the absence of such core quality elements to inform pharmacy education assessment and development, the extent to which pharmacy schools in Saudi Arabia prepare competent pharmacists to address societal needs from pharmacy services is unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the extent to which pharmacy education can prepare competent pharmacists to address the healthcare needs for pharmacy practice in Saudi Arabia. An exploratory sequential mixed methods research design was used to address the aim of this study in three phases: individual interviews and focus groups were employed with a purposively selected sample of pharmacy policy makers, pharmacists and the public to explore societal healthcare needs and the roles required of pharmacists to meet those needs; a national online survey of pharmacists and an online nominal group consensus method of pharmacy experts were used to identify competencies considered essential to develop a profession-wide national foundation level competency framework; and a case study in which curriculum mapping of two purposively selected Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curricula was used to assess the extent to which the current pharmacy programme in Saudi Arabia meets the identified competencies of the developed national competency framework. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses of societal healthcare needs, pharmacists’ roles, core competencies and curricular contents within the local context of Saudi Arabia, findings showed that there is a mismatch between initial education and real practice needs and expectations. While the country’s current needs from pharmacists are to optimise health system capacity and increase access to primary care services and medicines expertise in community pharmacies, the study indicated local education is product-oriented with a focus of curricular content and experiential training opportunities in most schools on preparing future pharmacists for hospital pharmacy practice. The study also identified several gaps between current initial education programmes and the competencies required to practise the expected roles, suggesting that current initial education might not prepare the students sufficiently to provide the full range of quality pharmaceutical services as per the country’s pharmacy practice needs. The study provided a new understanding of graduates’ readiness to practise as per the country’s pharmacy practice needs, the quality of educational programmes and pharmacists' professional development opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Findings maybe used to inform the development of competency-based education and maximise graduates’ capacity to deliver and develop pharmaceutical services effectively to best meet societal healthcare needs in Saudi Arabia

    An Exploration of the Suitability of Pharmacy Education in Saudi Arabia to Prepare Graduates to Meet Healthcare Needs: a Mixed-Methods Study

    Get PDF
    The key role of pharmacists within the health system, particularly in optimising safe, responsible and effective use of medicines, underpins the demand for a highly skilled and competent workforce. Therefore, developing the capacity of pharmacists to attain and maintain essential competencies relevant to the population’s health needs is required to ensure a high standard of patient care, thereby helping to improve patient and population health. In Saudi Arabia, little evidence exists regarding the assessment of national educational programmes’ structure and outcomes. Moreover, no national competency framework exists for pharmacists in any sector or stage of practice. In the absence of such core quality elements to inform pharmacy education assessment and development, the extent to which pharmacy schools in Saudi Arabia prepare competent pharmacists to address societal needs from pharmacy services is unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the extent to which pharmacy education can prepare competent pharmacists to address the healthcare needs for pharmacy practice in Saudi Arabia. An exploratory sequential mixed methods research design was used to address the aim of this study in three phases: individual interviews and focus groups were employed with a purposively selected sample of pharmacy policy makers, pharmacists and the public to explore societal healthcare needs and the roles required of pharmacists to meet those needs; a national online survey of pharmacists and an online nominal group consensus method of pharmacy experts were used to identify competencies considered essential to develop a profession-wide national foundation level competency framework; and a case study in which curriculum mapping of two purposively selected Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curricula was used to assess the extent to which the current pharmacy programme in Saudi Arabia meets the identified competencies of the developed national competency framework. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses of societal healthcare needs, pharmacists’ roles, core competencies and curricular contents within the local context of Saudi Arabia, findings showed that there is a mismatch between initial education and real practice needs and expectations. While the country’s current needs from pharmacists are to optimise health system capacity and increase access to primary care services and medicines expertise in community pharmacies, the study indicated local education is product-oriented with a focus of curricular content and experiential training opportunities in most schools on preparing future pharmacists for hospital pharmacy practice. The study also identified several gaps between current initial education programmes and the competencies required to practise the expected roles, suggesting that current initial education might not prepare the students sufficiently to provide the full range of quality pharmaceutical services as per the country’s pharmacy practice needs. The study provided a new understanding of graduates’ readiness to practise as per the country’s pharmacy practice needs, the quality of educational programmes and pharmacists' professional development opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Findings maybe used to inform the development of competency-based education and maximise graduates’ capacity to deliver and develop pharmaceutical services effectively to best meet societal healthcare needs in Saudi Arabia

    The relevance of the International Pharmaceutical Federation Global Competency Framework in developing a country-level competency framework for pharmacists: A cross-sectional study

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    BackgroundIn the ever-changing roles of pharmacists, the evidence shows that the use of competency frameworks could aid in achieving professional performance development and ensuring a consistent quality pharmacy education. However, there is no national competency framework for pharmacists in Saudi Arabia. This study, therefore, uses an evidence-based method to identify the competencies required to support and facilitate the pharmacists' training and career development.ObjectiveTo assess pharmacists' perception of the relevance of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Global Competency Framework (GbCF v1) to their own practice.MethodsA cross-sectional online survey of pharmacists in different practice settings was conducted between August and November 2020, in Saudi Arabia. The survey was adopted from the GbCF v1. A combination of purposive and snowball sampling was used. The relevance to the GbCF v1 was assessed using a four-point Likert scale. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.ResultsA total of 522 pharmacists participated in the survey. The study showed broad agreement on relevance to practice for 84% of behaviours included in the GbCF v1. The ‘pharmaceutical public health’ cluster scored the highest percentage of relevant responses (91.42%), followed by the ‘professional/personal’ cluster (87.08%), whereas the ‘organisation and management’ cluster scored the highest percentage of ‘not-relevant’ responses (18.40%). The observed non-relevancy was associated with gender, nationality and area of pharmacy practice (p < 0.05).ConclusionThe competencies and behaviours included in the GbCF v1 are relevant to pharmacy practice in Saudi Arabia. However, some behaviours of the GbCF v1 require modification to be appropriate for the local needs of the Saudi pharmacy practice. The findings from this exercise will be used as a base to develop a foundation-level competency framework to inform initial pharmacy education development and address knowledge gaps and learning needs required to attain and maintain pharmacists' competence to practise

    Developing pharmacists' competencies in Saudi Arabia: A proposed national competency framework to support initial education and professional development

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    Introduction: With the currently accelerating changes in pharmacists' roles in Saudi Arabia, evidence-based developmental tools are required to guide initial pharmacy education and define competencies for early career (foundation level) pharmacists' progression. This study aimed to develop a profession-wide competency framework for foundation level pharmacists in Saudi Arabia using the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Global Competency Framework (GbCF) as the source framework. Methods: An online nominal group technique was used to develop consensus on a profession-wide national competency framework in Saudi Arabia. Purposive sampling was used to recruit experts from local various pharmacy sectors. A combination of self-administered surveys and online meetings was used to measure and develop consensus. The survey items were adopted from the FIP GbCF version 2. Results: Nine pharmacy experts participated in five iterative rounds of consensus measurement and development between July and November 2021. Consensus was achieved on appropriateness to Saudi pharmacy practice for all the behaviours in the “Pharmaceutical Public Health,” “Pharmaceutical Care,” and “Professional/Personal” clusters. The “Organisation and Management” cluster caused most differences of opinion. The final consensus generated a list of 125 behavioural statements for inclusion in the national competency framework. Conclusion: This study proposes the first competency framework for foundation level pharmacists in Saudi Arabia. The developed framework represents a consensus on competencies for foundation level pharmacists working across all pharmacy sectors and is eligible for supporting further improvement of initial pharmacy education and support excellence in pharmacists' performance to address the country's needs from pharmaceutical services
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