Stakeholders’ perceptions, expectations and experiences of a statewide Australian hospital pharmacist foundation residency program: A qualitative descriptive study

Yu Ting Sim1, Dr. Carolyn Murray2, Dr. Saravana Kumar2, Sally Marotti3

1Central Adelaide Local Health Network, SA Pharmacy, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 2Allied Health and Human Performance, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 3SA Pharmacy, University of South Australia, Adelaide South Australia, Australia

 

Background & Aim:
Practice-integrated education and professional development programs, or also known as residencies, have been available to pharmacists in America and United Kingdom for many years. In 2016, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia launched Australia’s novel Foundation Residency Program to support the critical development of early-career pharmacists (ECP), and has been implemented across many hospital sites nationally. This program model was adopted by the South Australian public hospital pharmacy statewide service and was granted full accreditation.

Action:
This study aimed to explore the perspectives of key stakeholders involved in making decisions about the focus and future of the program. Purposeful sampling was adopted to intentionally recruit participants who oversee preceptors and residents, across all hierarchy levels and multi-site pharmacy services.  Across June and July 2020, the stakeholders were invited to participate in individual semi-structured interviews conducted by an impartial external interviewer.  The interview guide developed was informed by findings of prior resident and preceptor survey and was pilot-tested. Each interview was audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcribed dataset was managed using NVivo softwareTM (version 10) and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Evaluation:
Thirty-three out of thirty-five staff consented to participate. Participants were recruited across all the statewide local health networks and service areas, and were de-identified with a randomly assigned code number. An iterative data analysis process identified five key themes; alignment of program goals and visions, culture shift to prioritising workforce development as core business, program structure supports focused workforce development, adoption and implementation experiences and motivations, perceptions of outcomes and influencing complexities.

Discussion:
The interviews identified general views that the residency benefitted the development of the residents, preceptors and the entire workforce. The multisite structure was seen as strength of the program. Whilst it was acknowledged that the rotations, cross-site rotations and research project presented challenges, they were deemed worth the investment. Overall, it was felt that incremental increases in program capacity will occur over time, as culture changes, and this becomes core business. Findings provided important insights into current enablers and barriers to program expansion. Several key recommendations include maintaining an optional selection process, outlining a pre-requisite transition to hospital pharmacy training, clarifying that the aim is to support ECP development rather than to achieve a defined level of performance and focusing on preceptor development to increase capacity.


Yu Ting Sim

Yu Ting Sim is a Senior Pharmacist for SA Pharmacy, coordinating education and training for the Central Adelaide Local Health Network pharmacy department. She is currently the chair of the SA Pharmacy Residency Leadership Committee and is a UNISA Masters by Research (HDR) candidate.

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