The practice of pharmacy looks different in hospitals than it does in community pharmacies and clinics, and there are more variations by health system. It’s a diverse and evolving field in the United States, and the possibilities seem even more endless when we look beyond national borders and across oceans.
In Taiwan, for example, pharmacists are fully plugged in to their patients’ health histories—prescriptions filled anywhere in the country, diagnoses, hospitalizations, and lab values from the last three months are all available to pharmacists via a Pharma Card carried by each patient, like a drivers’ license.
“I think there’s a perception that pharmacy is behind in Taiwan, but there are some things in their national health system that are much further ahead than we are,” says Michelle Chui, associate professor and vice chair in the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy’s Social and Administrative Sciences (SAS) Division.
Chui and Assistant Professor Olayinka Shiyanbola, also in SAS, were each personally invited to Taiwan to share their renowned expertise in health literacy, medication safety, and the importance of research with graduate students, faculty, and other health professionals at some of the country’s leading universities and conferences, and to learn more about how pharmacists operate abroad.