Journal of Health and Medical Sciences
Published: 01 October 2020
Qualitative Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of Professional Services by Community Pharmacies in Nigeria
Maduabuchi R. Ihekoronye, Kanayo P. Osemene, Wilson O. Erhun, Margaret O. Afolabi
Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (Nigeria)
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Keywords: Community Pharmacy, Professional Services, SWOT Analysis, Strategic Planning, Nigeria
Background: Professional services hold important promises for community pharmacy which remain under-exploited. Objective: To analyse strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of professional services and propose strategic options for their management in community pharmacies in Nigeria. Method: A mixed method was used. Two focus groups were conducted with nine pharmacists who own retail outlets and seven superintendent pharmacists respectively. Validated, semi-structured questionnaires were administered on 321 randomly-selected community pharmacists and 642 pharmacy clients. Data collected were subjected to appropriate descriptive and inferential analysis at p<0.05. Results: The strongest strengths of the community pharmacists were easy accessibility (MWA 3.69) and good managerial skills (3.63). Inability to quantify services and get paid for them (3.39); and time constraints (3.36) were the most prominent weaknesses identified. The Pharm.D programme with attendant improvements in clinical skills (3.52); and digital technologies (3.51) presented the greatest opportunities; while unhealthy competition (3.50) and increasing recognition for patent and proprietary medicines vendors (3.50) were the greatest threats. Higher educational qualifications and location of practice did not improve service management scores but length of practice experience did (p = 0.00). Exploiting opportunities had strongest relationship with service quality (r = 0.129, p = 0.02) while weaknesses influenced opportunities the most (r2 = 0.35, t = 12.98, p = 0.001). Conclusion: Strategic planning for professional services was inadequate. The community pharmacists exhibited marginal capacity to exploit opportunities and mitigate threats. Weaknesses and threats were major factors limiting service outcomes. There is need to strengthen strategic planning to optimize professional pharmacy services
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