Bridging the Location Gap: How Can Pharmacists and Physicians Collaborate for Delivering Patient Care? (BRIDGE Study Phase I)

Elizabeth Nicole Dow, Keri Hager, Tim Cernohous


Background: Research has shown that collaboration between physicians and pharmacists improves health outcomes and prevents adverse drug events. Pharmacists providing medication therapy management (MTM) services in local stand-alone MTM clinics have experienced significant difficulty collaborating with physicians. However, MTM pharmacists who practice in the same facility with the physician self-rate their practices as highly collaborative. The purpose of this study is to determine if collaboration varies based on MTM practice location.

Methods: A convenience sample of 15 physicians who had received documentation of patient care from both an internal and external MTM pharmacist was surveyed to assess pharmacist-physician collaboration. Each physician was asked to complete the same survey for both an internal and an external MTM pharmacist, and to provide background and demographic information.

Results: Eleven surveys were returned by physicians for a 73% response rate (11/15). Four surveys were completed in their entirety. Seven surveys were returned with only the internal MTM pharmacist portion completed. The total score for external MTM pharmacists ranged from 52 to 87 with a mean score of 73.25 and standard deviation (SD) of 15.28. The total score for internal MTM pharmacists ranged from 74 to 98 with a mean score of 87.90 and SD of 9.12. Total mean scores resulting from summing items for the three domains of trustworthiness, role specification, and relationship initiation were higher for internal MTM pharmacists versus external MTM pharmacists (p = .03).

Conclusion: Based on our results, it appears the level of collaboration between physicians and MTM pharmacists tends to be higher when they practice in the same facility.


Medication therapy management; Physician pharmacist collaboration; Interprofessional relationships

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