Publications (2)0 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: The primary-secondary care interface provides significant opportunities for medication errors to arise. There has been limited research into mechanisms to facilitate seamless transfer across this interface. The aim of this study was to focus on the potential contribution of community pharmacy services at the interface. Materials & Methods: The opinions of community and hospital pharmacists were sought in relation to the current situation by means of questionnaires. A log book of communications between a community pharmacy and hospitals was maintained. A comparison of new discharge and post-discharge prescriptions was also performed. The data was coded and analysed in SPSS v.16. Results: There is currently little communication across the interface at the time of discharge, with 11% of community pharmacists reporting no contact by a hospital at this time and a further 80% stating that they were only contacted occasionally. Hospital pharmacists reported ongoing difficulties in attempting to obtain a medication history on admission. Both parties agreed that the introduction of standard protocols and a designated seamless care pharmacist would improve medication safety at the interface. Most communication occurred between the community pharmacy and hospital on a Friday and also after 3 pm in the evening. When communication did occur the issue was resolved in 81% of all cases. Medication that required a follow up prescription from a patient’s family doctor following a hospital visit was incorrectly transcribed by the family doctor in 27% of cases. Discussions, Conclusion: The involvement of community pharmacists occurs irregularly at present. There is dissatisfaction with the current situation. Pharmacists at either side of the interface are aware of the importance of the role that the other plays in seamless care, with both parties favouring the introduction of processes to facilitate seamless care at the interface. The involvement of the community pharmacist in the discharge process, through the dispensing of hospital discharge prescriptions, helped to reduce the number of medication errors that could occur at the primary-secondary care interface.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACY. 01/2012; 34(1):211-212.
Article: An investigation of the opinions of community and hospital pharmacists and general practitioners of the management of drug therapy at the primary-secondary care interface[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Drug-related problems and medication errors, many preventable, are known to make a significant contribution to morbidity and mortality. The point of transfer between primacy and secondary care provides significant opportunities for medication errors to arise, especially in the absence of structured transfer protocols. There has been limited national and international research into mechanisms to facilitate seamless transfer across the primary-secondary care interface. This study attempts to identify the current arrangements that are in place and the opinions of healthcare professionals of those arrangements. Materials & Methods: The opinions of community pharmacists, hospital pharmacists and general practitioners in relation to the current procedures in place for the admission and discharge of patients, with particular reference to drug therapy, were sought. This was done by means of self-administered, anonymous, postal questionnaires which were distributed nationwide. The data were coded and analysed in SPSS v. 16. Standard statistical parameters were calculated and statistically significant relationships were determined using ANOVA and the chi-squared test where appropriate, taking p<0.05 to be significant. Results: There is currently very little communication across the interface at the time of discharge, with 10.7% of community pharmacists reporting that they have never been contacted by a hospital to inform them of the imminent discharge of a patient, with a further 79.8% stating that they were only contacted occasionally. On the other side of the interface, hospital pharmacists reported ongoing difficulties in attempting to obtain a patient medication history on admission, with 75.5% of respondents stating that they regularly, often or always encountered these difficulties. Discussions, Conclusion: The majority of community and hospital pharmacists and general practitioners were dissatisfied with the management of drug therapy during the hospital discharge process. All three groups of healthcare professionals felt that the introduction of a structured seamless care programme linking hospitals, general practitioners and community pharmacists to be important or very important. It is intended that the results of this analysis will feed into a protocol for a pilot seamless care programme based in the community pharmacy.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACY. 01/2012; 34(1).