Evaluating digital competencies for pharmacists

Gerry Lee, Emma Caton, Amally Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Digital technologies are widely used in healthcare. In the UK, Health Education England developed a framework on digital capabilities so that healthcare professionals could determine their health literacy, evaluate their competencies and identify their learning needs. For pharmacists, specific digital capabilities were developed - Digital Capabilities for the Pharmacy Workforce.
Aim The aim of this study was to explore the views of pharmacists on digital competency in the workplace and evaluate the suitability of the Digital Capabilities Framework for the Pharmacy Workforce for use within clinical practice.
Methodology: A focus group of experienced pharmacists working within the NHS in the UK was conducted and thematic analysis of the content was undertaken.
Results: Seven pharmacy staff took part in an online focus group. They held senior positions across various London NHS hospitals and in community settings. From the content of the focus group, four themes were identified: Theme 1 - Use of digital technology, Theme 2 - Digital competency and training of the pharmacy workforce, Theme 3 - Assessment of digital competency and Theme 4 - Evaluation of the Digital Capabilities Framework for the Pharmacy Workforce. The pharmacists in this study suggested that the Digital Capabilities Framework could be used as a helpful assessment tool to ensure that all staff should have the appropriate digital skills and capabilities to fulfil their pharmacy role.
Conclusion: With widespread use of digital technologies in practice, there is a need for formal digital technology training for pharmacists. The Digital Capabilities Framework has the potential to be utilised as an assessment tool to ensure pharmacy staff have the appropriate levels of digital skills to fulfil their clinical duties and make their service more efficient.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch In Social & Administrative Pharmacy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Jan 2023


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