A survey of pharmacists' perception of the work environment and patient safety in community pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ljungberg Persson C, Nordén Hägg A, Södergård B

Explor Res Clin Soc Pharm 12 (-) 100327 [2023-12-00; online 2023-09-04]

Community pharmacies have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and new routines have been introduced to address the needs of customers and staff and to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Burnout has been described among staff possibly due to a changed working climate. However, little research has focused on the pandemic's effect on patient safety in community pharmacies. To examine pharmacists' perceptions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workload, working environment, and patient safety in community pharmacies. A survey was distributed to all Swedish community pharmacists, constituting a census study. Questions regarding the pharmacists' perception of the impact of the pandemic on workload, working environment, and patient safety were included. Respondents were asked to provide comments on their working situation. Quantitative results were analysed using descriptive statistics, and comments were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The response rate was 41% (2034 responses). Most pharmacists (62%) considered the workload to be increased during the pandemic while work environment deteriorated (physical work environment was considered worse by 47% of respondents while psychosocial work environment was considered worse by 59%). Despite this, many respondents (55%) believed that patient safety was not affected. Neither having had COVID-19 nor being afraid of contracting it, influenced these perceptions in any substantial way. Findings were consistent regardless of education, professional role, number of years in community pharmacies, or special assignments in the pharmacies. According to the respondents, the communication within pharmacy companies during the pandemic was inadequate. The impact of the pandemic on working conditions is in line with previous findings but the effect on patient safety needs further studies. The respondents felt the management had a limited understanding of the conditions during the pandemic, which stresses the importance of good and clear communication during a crisis.

Category: Health

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37780549

DOI 10.1016/j.rcsop.2023.100327

Crossref 10.1016/j.rcsop.2023.100327

pmc: PMC10534261
pii: S2667-2766(23)00108-7

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