Realising the non-dispensing pharmacist in general practice

Medicijnen in doordrukstrips

Sometimes at Evers + Manders, we support projects where the dedication and enthusiasm of the applicants immediately catch the eye and that we sincerely hope will succeed. Last year, this was the case with the project of Dr Dorien Zwart and Dr Ankie Hazen from the Julius Centre, UMC Utrecht. Following a successful Good Use of Medicines ZonMw project on embedding a Non-Dispensing Pharmacist (NDP) in general practice (POINT), they now wanted to implement these outcomes into an educational program and embedded function in healthcare practice.

NDP leads to improved pharmacotherapeutic care

An NDP is positioned between the pharmacist and the general practitioner (GP) and assists patients with complex medication use, filling an important gap in care in today’s ageing society. In POINT, such expertise was shown to improve the quality of pharmacotherapeutic care, reduce medication errors, and reduce the workload of pharmacists and GPs. Involved healthcare providers and patients also showed enthusiasm and an NDP has already been successfully deployed in other countries.

However, to lift POINT to POINT-i (implementation), there were still some important hurdles to overcome. E+M consultants Nina van der Vaart and Marlieke van Kesteren joined Dorien and Ankie in identifying stakeholders and writing a targeted implementation plan. Since the NDP is an interprofessional function, it is important to get all professional organisations on board. Due to divergent interests, it required some convincing, but in the end Ankie (herself a pharmacist) and Dorien (herself a family doctor) got everyone on board. Together, we then drafted a clear and measurable plan to provide all stakeholders with ownership and empowerment, develop a sustainable funding model for NDP training, and embed it in the current healthcare and training system.

NDP training becomes reality

In October, we received the good news that POINT-i was honoured and the AF educational program can be realised from 2023 onwards. We wish Dorien and Ankie success in realising the AF in healthcare practice, it will certainly not be hampered by their plan and enthusiasm!

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