Challenges of Communication Skills in Pharmacy Practice

Nida Mohammed Ali Wadi, Alka Ahuja, Pratap David


Communication in health sector has become an important topic of discussion due to overwhelming reports of medication misuse, side effects, drug interaction and error in medication use. Certain barriers limit the effectiveness of communication. The present study was designed to study the perception of a pharmacist about communication skills and identify the challenges in pharmacy practice in the government and private sector. 100 practicing pharmacists were randomly selected from the hospitals and health centers. Questionnaires were given to both pharmacists and the patients. Responses about the Pharmacist perception regarding effect of patient personality on communication process and how various barriers effect the communication in Pharmacy practice were studied. Both pharmacists and patients agreed that the environmental based barriers such as lack of privacy, lack of time, feedback and the difference in languages are the main challenges for effective communication. These cause distortion and misunderstanding of the messages. There is a need of political will from decision makers for new initiatives that should be designed to move pharmacy practice forward and, more importantly to overcome current challenges for optimizing the role of the pharmacist for the patient safety. The effective interventions need a collaborative work by making training and further education like lectures, workshop for all practising pharmacists. Implementation of guidelines for safe, cost-effective treatment needs good communication skills in pharmacy practice.

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