Innovation is an essential part of making healthcare more effective and efficient. How can pharmaceutical innovations reach healthcare providers and patients? And what role do pharmaceutical experts play in this? These are the questions that the Process Innovation in Pharmaceutical care research group works on.
Pharmaceutical innovation is a broad discipline. It concerns matters such as new drugs or new guidelines for general practitioners, stating which medication they should prescribe for a particular disorder.
Often, a pharmaceutical innovation does not have the intended effect, for example, because a new drug is developed which a patient fails to take according to the instructions provided. Or because the drug does not even reach the patient because a doctor fails to prescribe it. In such situations, the new drug does not have to the desired result for the patient. The research group examines how pharmaceutical care can best disseminate its innovations, so that the patient can benefit from them. The researchers seek to answer questions such as: how does the internet influence the choices made by healthcare providers and patients? And how can pharmacists improve the adherence of a patient to a pharmaceutical therapy and what is the benefit of this?
Lines of research
The research carried out by the group can be divided into three lines:
- Communication with the patient
This line concerns the empowerment of the patient: which information does he or she have? How does the patient use this in his dealings with his caregivers?
- Pharmaceutical processes
This involves issues such as therapy adherence, market forces and the reallocation of tasks within pharmaceutical care.
- Pharmaceutical products
This research line concerns the development of medicines.
Recommendations for professional practice
The research group translates knowledge into guidelines and recommendations for professionals working in pharmaceutical care and service provision, as well as into teaching as part of the Pharmaceutical Practice programme. The knowledge generated by this research group often leads to:
• the reallocation of tasks - new care roles for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists;
• demand management - new roles for the patient in managing his or her illness and medication;
• dialogue management - improved communication between patients and healthcare providers, leading to better use of medicines.