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Digital literacy knowledge and needs of pharmacy staff: a systematic review.

MacLure, Katie; Stewart, Derek


Katie MacLure

Derek Stewart


Objective: To explore the digital literacy knowledge and needs of pharmacy staff including pharmacists, graduate (pre-registration) pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants and medicine counter assistants. Methods: A systematic review was conducted following a pre-published protocol. Two reviewers systematically performed the reproducible search, followed by independent screening of titles/abstracts then full papers, before critical appraisal and data extraction. Full articles matching the search terms were eligible for inclusion. Exclusions were recorded with reasons. Kirkpatrick's 4 level model of training evaluation (reaction, learning, behaviour and results) was applied as an analytical framework. Results: Screening reduced the initial 86 papers to 5 for full review. Settings included hospital and community pharmacy plus education in Australia, Canada and the US. No studies of pharmacy staff other than pharmacists were identified. Main findings indicate that pharmacy staff lack digital literacy knowledge with minimal research evidenced at each level of Kirkpatrick's model. Conclusions: As a society, we acknowledge that technology is an important part of everyday life impacting on the efficiency and effectiveness of working practices but, in pharmacy, do we take cognisance, 'that technology can change the nature of work faster than people can change their skills'? It seems that pharmacy has embraced technology without recognised occupational standards, definition of baseline skills or related personal development plans. There is little evidence that digital literacy has been integrated into pharmacy staff training, which remains an under-researched area.


MACLURE, K. and STEWART, D. 2016. Digital literacy knowledge and needs of pharmacy staff: a systematic review. Journal of innovation in health informatics [online], 23(3), pages 560-571. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 18, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 18, 2016
Journal Journal of innovation in health informatics
Print ISSN 2058-4555
Electronic ISSN 2058-4563
Publisher BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 560-571
Keywords Systematic review; Digital literacy; Pharmacy education; Training; Kirkpatrick's 4 level model
Public URL