Innovations-Magazine-April-2022 - 12

Well-Being Index Offers
Useful Insights Into
Pharmacist Distress Levels
The issue of pharmacist well-being - and particularly, the negative effects of burnout on both pharmacists and the
patients they serve - has raised concerns among industry stakeholders for years. Today, with burnout among pharmacy
personnel intensified and exacerbated by nearly two years of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the
issue has reached what some in the profession consider a crisis point.
The ability to quantify and track distress levels is an important
step in designing and carrying out effective interventions. NABP, in
collaboration with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA),
has begun providing the state boards of pharmacy with a new tool:
monthly reports containing data from the Pharmacist Well-Being
Index (WBI). The WBI is a confidential, online self-assessment
tool for pharmacists, pharmacy students, and pharmacy technicians
that measures multiple dimensions of distress and well-being. The
anonymized reports give boards of pharmacy a regular snapshot
of pharmacy personnel well-being and how it shifts as conditions
change. The reports may assist the boards in their communication
and collaboration with state pharmacy associations and with any
other efforts related to this complex topic.
Mental distress and burnout among pharmacists is a complicated
problem, with many causes and few easy answers. Like workers in many
fields, pharmacy personnel can be subject to such burnout risk factors
10 | APRIL 2022
as an unmanageable workload, inadequate rewards, and lack of personal
agency or control. But even prior to the pandemic, pharmacists were
often grappling with practice-specific factors like rapid technological
changes, workload increases, time constraints, quota pressures, and
support staff training deficiencies. The pandemic exacerbated these
factors and added more: cumbersome safety protocols, staffing shortages,
increased responsibilities, supply chain backups, medication shortages,
and treatment controversies, to name only a few. And, as has long been
recognized, the strain of difficult working conditions not only causes
personal distress to pharmacist personnel, it also threatens to increase
medication errors and endanger patient safety.
These increasing stress factors make the Pharmacist WBI - and
the reports being shared with the boards of pharmacy - all the more
important. The validated self-assessment tool developed by the Mayo
Clinic uses nine yes-or-no and sliding-scale questions to measure
six different dimensions of distress and well-being. Pharmacists,


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Innovations-Magazine-April-2022

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