Pharmacy Technology and Practice


We wish to bring together experts in the fields of technology and pharmacy practice to analyze how future innovations could change the ways in which pharmacists work and provide services to patients. The research topic will not consider individual technologies per se. For instance, we will not publish studies that evaluate whether a novel phone app is effective unless they analyze the relationship between that technology and pharmacy practice. Instead, we will focus on new technologies that: (i) are implemented in a pharmacy-related setting (hospital/community pharmacy or in primary care by a pharmacist), (ii) enable pharmacists in their medicines supply or pharmaceutical care roles; (iii) give pharmacists a leadership role in technology adoption and use outside of pharmacy or directly for patients.

Central to the thinking behind this research topic is the insight that technology is not external to pharmacy practice. Often, new technologies are discussed as separate, stand-alone objects that may be adopted or not. In contrast, we take an inclusive perspective. The whole of pharmacy practice – from dispensing to pharmaceutical care – is interwoven with the use of innumerable technologies, some existing and some innovative. For instance, a pen used to write notes during a pharmaceutical care consultation is an old technology that may be replaced by an unforeseen innovation in the future. To understand how existing and new technologies influence practice, we must: (i) understand how operating procedures and practices use technologies of all types; (ii) evaluate new technologies in a practice setting, and (iii) predict how new technologies can create new practice roles for the profession. For instance, could pharmaceutical care activities be technology-enabled? How do barcode technologies influence the ways in which pharmacists organize the dispensing of drugs? Could pharmacies become local technology hubs for patients of all types, regardless of their need for dispensed drugs? In response to such questions, authors should generate new hypotheses, new models and new evidence that speeds the evolution of pharmacy practice for the benefit of health systems, pharmacists and patients.

To date, there has been little research on the ways in which technologies and pharmacy practice interacts. This Research Topic seeks original contributions (evaluations, reviews and novel conceptual frameworks) that examine this relationship in ways that promote significant advances in knowledge and working procedures.

Amongst the topics considered for publication will be:
(i) Evaluations of specific classes of technologies in a pharmacy-related setting; (ii) Systematic and scoping reviews of pharmacy-related technologies; (ii) Decision analytic models of technology adoption decisions in a pharmacy context; (iv) Processual models of pharmacy practice that highlight the role of technologies in working procedures; (v) Blueprints and evidence that promote the location of technology-hubs in community pharmacies; (vi) Analyses that examine how new roles could be created for pharmacists through technological innovation; (vii) Value of Information studies of pharmacy-related technologies; viii) Evaluation of potential health economic impact; (ix) Physicians’ perspective(s).

Keywords: Pharmacy, Technology, Pharmacy practice, Innovation, Enabled