A survey of pharmacists in integrated care: Benefits, barriers, and facilitators of integration.

Casey E Gallimore
Elena Kline, Beaumont Health


INTRODUCTION: While models for pharmacist integration within primary care exist, less is known about their integration into primary care practices with already-embedded behavioral health. An exploratory survey was conducted to characterize examples of pharmacist integration into primary care systems providing dual behavioral and medical care.

METHOD: An electronic survey distributed through email listservs of four national organizations assessed pharmacists' background, training, practice setting and roles, and benefits and challenges of integration. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A chi-square test was used to evaluate relationships between degree of integration and barriers.

RESULTS: The survey was completed by 119 pharmacists in primary care practices with integrated behavioral health. Pharmacists reported performing a variety of roles impacting quality of care, access to care, provider and patient satisfaction, and, to a lesser extent, care costs. Barriers to integration were common, including cost, underutilization, lack of role clarity for pharmacists, and space constraints. Mode of communication and workspace location were associated with pharmacist utilization and role clarity.

DISCUSSION: Pharmacists in primary care practices with integrated behavioral health reported improving care quality and access and supporting patient and provider satisfaction. Future work should survey others to confirm pharmacist self-perceptions. While fiscal justification of pharmacists on integrated teams remains challenging, utilizing shared workspace and creating mechanisms for in-person communication facilitate integration efforts by mitigating other barriers such as underutilization and lack of role clarity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).