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1.  Personality Traits of Hospital Pharmacists: Toward a Better Understanding of Factors Influencing Pharmacy Practice Change 
Background
The profession of pharmacy has adopted a mandate to become more patient-centred; however, significant change in this direction has not been achieved.
Objective:
To characterize the personality traits of hospital pharmacists in one Canadian province, to provide insights into potential barriers to practice change.
Methods:
A cross-sectional survey of hospital pharmacists was conducted in Alberta, Canada. An invitation to participate was sent to all 766 hospital pharmacists practising in the province’s 2 health service organizations. The survey was based on the Big Five Inventory, a validated, reliable instrument that uses a 5-point Likert scale to measure the traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness.
Results:
Of the 347 pharmacists who completed the survey (45% response rate), the majority (297 [86%]) were staff pharmacists working full time in an urban setting. The average age of respondents was 41 years (standard deviation [SD] 11 years), and the average period in practice was 17 years (SD 11 years). Respondents’ mean scores were 3.2 (SD 0.7) on extraversion, 3.8 (SD 0.4) on agreeableness, 4.0 (SD 0.4) on conscientiousness, 2.5 (SD 0.7) on neuroticism, and 3.5 (SD 0.6) on openness. Total frequency counts revealed that respondents tended toward stronger expression of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness and low levels of neuroticism (with the latter indicating stability).
Conclusion:
The Big Five Inventory represents a novel approach to examining pharmacists’ change-related behaviours. Improving understanding of hospital pharmacists’ personality traits will provide insights for the development of training and support programs tailored specifically to this group.
PMCID: PMC3806417  PMID: 24159231
pharmacy practice change; personality traits; Big Five Inventory; hospital pharmacy practice; changement de la pratique de la pharmacie; traits de personnalité; Inventaire des cinq grands facteurs de personnalité; pratique de la pharmacie hospitalière
2.  Medication Error Reporting Systems: A Survey of Canadian Intensive Care Units 
Background:
Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) have complex problems and experience many medical errors. Currently, little is known about the measurement of medication errors and adverse drug events in Canadian ICUs.
Objective:
To investigate methods of measuring medication errors and adverse drug events in ICUs in Canada.
Methods:
A questionnaire was constructed and uploaded to an online survey tool, SurveyMonkey. Through the mailing list software of the Critical Care Pharmacy Specialty Network of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, the survey was sent by e-mail to 146 pharmacists working in 79 ICUs across Canada; 2 reminder e-mails followed. The survey was open from July 18 to September 18, 2007.
Results:
A total of 34 individual responses were received from 31 (39%) of the 79 ICUs. Responses were from academic hospitals (11/31 [35%]), community teaching hospitals (9/31 [29%]), and community nonteaching hospitals (11/31 [35%]). Twenty-six (84%) of the 31 responding ICUs had a process for tracking medication errors and adverse drug events: non-anonymous voluntary reporting (19 or 73%), direct observation (14 or 54%), anonymous voluntary reporting (12 or 46%), chart review (6 or 23%), computerized system (3 or 12%), trigger tools (2 or 8%), pharmacist intervention (2 or 8%), and weekly ICU “safety huddles” (1 or 4%). Fourteen (54%) of the 26 ICUs that had a method of measuring medication errors and adverse drug events had implemented changes to address identified problems.
Conclusions:
Most respondents were measuring the frequency of medication errors and adverse drug events, but a wide variety of methods were in use. Only about half of the ICUs had implemented changes as a result of these measurements. There is an opportunity to improve standardization of the measurement of medication errors and adverse drug events in Canadian ICUs.
PMCID: PMC2832561  PMID: 22478949
medication safety; intensive care unit; reporting system; sécurité des médicaments; unité de soins intensifs; système de déclaration
3.  Exploring consumer and pharmacist views on the professional role of the pharmacist with respect to natural health products: a study of focus groups 
Background
Natural health products (NHPs) such as herbs, vitamins and homeopathic medicines, are currently available for sale in most Canadian pharmacies. However, most pharmacists report that they have limited knowledge about these products which have been regulated in Canada as a specific sub-category of drugs. In this paper, consumers' and practicing pharmacists' perceptions of pharmacists' professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs are examined.
Methods
A total of 16 focus groups were conducted with consumers (n = 50) and pharmacists (n = 47) from four different cities across Canada (Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Halifax).
Results
In this paper, we illustrate the ways in which pharmacists' professional responsibilities are impacted by changing consumer needs. Many consumers in the study utilized a wide range of information resources that may or may not have included pharmacists. Nevertheless, the majority of consumers and pharmacists agreed that pharmacists should be knowledgeable about NHPs and felt that pharmacists should be able to manage drug-NHPs interactions as well as identify and evaluate the variety of information available to help consumers make informed decisions.
Conclusion
This paper demonstrates that consumers' expectations and behaviour significantly impact pharmacists' perceptions of their professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-8-40
PMCID: PMC2483265  PMID: 18625059
4.  Providers' Perceptions of Student Pharmacists on Inpatient General Medicine Practice Experiences 
Objective. To assess health care providers’ perceptions of student pharmacists involved as members of a general medicine team.
Methods. A brief, anonymous, online survey instrument was distributed to 134 health care providers at 4 major medical centers in Massachusetts who interacted with Northeastern University student pharmacists during inpatient general medicine advanced pharmacy practice experiences beginning in March 2011. The survey instrument assessed health care provider perception of student pharmacists’ involvement, preparedness, clinical skills, and therapeutic recommendations.
Results. Of the 79 providers who responded, 96.2% reported that student pharmacists were prepared for medical rounds and 87.3% reported that student pharmacists were active participants in patient care. Also, 94.9% and 98.7% of providers indicated that student pharmacist recommendations were appropriate and accurate, respectively. The majority (61.8%) of providers believed that student pharmacist involvement on internal medicine teams was beneficial.
Conclusions. Provider perceptions regarding student pharmacist participation on general medicine practice experiences were mostly positive.
doi:10.5688/ajpe77226
PMCID: PMC3602850  PMID: 23519602
experiential education; perception; pharmacy; student pharmacist
5.  Hospital pharmacy practice in Saudi Arabia: Drug monitoring and patient education in the Riyadh region 
Background
The purpose of this national survey is to evaluate hospital pharmacy practice in the Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia. The results of the survey pertaining to the monitoring and patient education of the medication use process were presented.
Methods
We have invited pharmacy directors from all 48 hospitals in the Riyadh region to participate in a modified-American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) survey questionnaire. The survey was conducted using similar methods to those of the ASHP surveys.
Results
The response rate was 60.4% (29/48). Most hospitals (23, 79%) had pharmacists regularly monitor medication therapy for patients. Of these hospitals, 61% had pharmacists monitoring medication therapy daily for less than 26% of patients, 17% monitored 26–50% of patients and 22% monitored more than half of patients daily. In 41% of hospitals, pharmacists routinely monitored serum medication concentrations or their surrogate markers; 27% gave pharmacists the authority to order initial serum medication concentrations, and 40% allowed pharmacists to adjust dosages. Pharmacists routinely documented their medication therapy monitoring activities in 52% of hospitals. Overall, 74% of hospitals had an adverse drug event (ADE) reporting system, 59% had a multidisciplinary committee responsible for reviewing ADEs, and 63% had a medication safety committee. Complete electronic medical record (EMR) systems were available in 15% of hospitals and 81% had a partial EMR system. The primary responsibility for performing patient medication education lays with nursing (37%), pharmacy (37%), or was a shared responsibility (26%). In 44% of hospitals, pharmacists provided medication education to half or more inpatients and in a third of hospitals, pharmacists gave medication education to 26% or more of patients at discharge.
Conclusion
Hospital pharmacists in the Riyadh region are actively engaged in monitoring medication therapy and providing patient medication education, although there is considerable opportunity for further involvement.
doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2012.12.006
PMCID: PMC3824953  PMID: 24227955
Medication therapy; Adverse drug event reporting; Electronic medical record systems; Patient medication education
6.  Pharmacists’ Perceptions of Their Professional Role: Insights into Hospital Pharmacy Culture 
Background:
Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of pharmacists on patient outcomes. To capitalize on these positive impacts, hospital pharmacy organizations around the world are now calling on pharmacists to shift their focus from distribution of medications to patient outcomes. This new emphasis is consistent with the vision statement for the profession of pharmacy in Canada, as set out in the Blueprint for Pharmacy: “Optimal drug therapy outcomes for Canadians through patient-centred care”. Given the ambitious nature of this statement and these goals, it is essential to understand what pharmacists currently think of their practice.
Objective:
To conduct a qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of hospital pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in patient care.
Methods:
A researcher posing as a University of Alberta student who was studying how health professionals use language to describe what they do contacted the pharmacy departments of all hospitals in Alberta. The “top-of-mind” approach was used in asking hospital pharmacists 2 questions: (1) How many years have you been practising pharmacy? (2) In 3 or 4 words (or phrases), from your perspective could you please tell me, “What does a pharmacist do”? These techniques were used to minimize the impact of social desirability bias. Content analysis was used to categorize hospital pharmacists’ responses into 4 broad categories: patient-centred, drug-focused, drug distribution, and ambiguous.
Results:
A total of 103 phone calls were made to hospital pharmacies, and 85 pharmacists contacted in this way were willing to participate in the survey. Hospital pharmacists provided 333 individual responses to the question about their activities. Of these, 79 (23.7%) were patient-centred, 98 (29.4%) were drug-focused, and 82 (24.6%) were in the drug-distribution category. Ambiguous responses accounted for the remaining 74 (22.2%).
Conclusion:
Aspects of care categorized as other than patient-centred should not be construed as unimportant. However, the fact that they were reported in this survey more frequently than patient-centred aspects suggests that hospital pharmacists in Alberta may have not fully embraced the concept of patient-centred care as outlined in the Blueprint for Pharmacy.
PMCID: PMC3053190  PMID: 22479026
patient-centred; drug-focused; drug distribution; top-of-mind approach; hospital pharmacist; pharmacy culture; pratique axée sur le patient; pratique axée sur les médicaments; distribution des médicaments; analyse des réponses spontanées; pharmacien d’hôpital; culture de la pharmacie
7.  Roles and Responsibilities of Pharmacists with Respect to Natural Health Products: Key Informant Interviews 
Background
Although many pharmacies sell natural health products (NHPs), there is no clear definition as to the roles and responsibilities (if any) of pharmacists with respect to these products.
Objective
The purpose of this study was to explore pharmacy and stakeholder leaders’ perceptions of pharmacists’ professional NHP roles and responsibilities.
Methods
Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with pharmacy leaders (n= 17) and stakeholder (n=18) leaders representing consumers, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, conventional healthcare practitioners, and industry across Canada.
Results
Overwhelmingly all participants believed a main NHP responsibility for pharmacists was safety monitoring. One challenge identified in the interviews was pharmacists’ general lack of NHP knowledge. Stakeholder leaders did not expect pharmacists to be experts on NHPs, rather that pharmacists should have a basic level of knowledge about NHPs. Many pharmacy leaders appeared to be unfamiliar with current pharmacy policies and guidelines concerning NHPs.
Conclusion
Participants described pharmacists’ professional roles and responsibilities for NHPs as similar to those for over-the-counter drugs. More awareness of existing NHP-related pharmacy policies is needed. Pharmacy owners/managers should provide additional training to ensure front-line pharmacists have appropriate knowledge of NHPs sold in the pharmacy.
doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2009.02.004
PMCID: PMC2923149  PMID: 20188329 CAMSID: cams1316
natural health products; pharmacists; professional roles and responsibilities
8.  What Patients Want: Preferences Regarding Hospital Pharmacy Services 
Background
The role of hospital pharmacists has evolved over the past couple of decades from preparation and distribution of medications to active involvement in health care teams, through identification and resolution of patients’ medication-related issues in an effort to improve patient outcomes. However, patients’ preferences about pharmacy services are not well known.
Objective:
To use content analysis of open-ended survey responses from recently discharged patients to determine desired pharmacy services.
Methods:
Former inpatients were randomly selected for participation in a telephone survey following discharge from acute care hospitals in the Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick. The survey included the question, “What service or information would you like a pharmacist to provide in the hospital that would most help you in managing your medications?” For responses to this question, 2 raters established response categories, obtained acceptable inter-rater agreement, and independently scored the responses.
Results:
Four global categories of responses were obtained, each having multiple subcategories. Of the 703 responses (from 325 respondents), 445 (63.3%) were related to the category “information about medications”, including purpose, adherence, and side effects. The second most common response category was “self-disclosure” (167 [23.8%]), including experiences with pharmacies, medications, or hospitals. Less frequently, responses pertained to “pharmacy services” (54 [7.7%]), such as medication costs and continuity of care, and to “information source for medications” (37 [5.3%]).
Conclusions:
Most respondents to this survey wanted hospital pharmacists to provide a general medication overview, including information about side effects and interactions, during their admission. The results suggest that many patients are unaware of other potential clinical services that pharmacists can provide. A future study could assess patients’ willingness to select from a guiding list of potential clinical services.
PMCID: PMC3694939  PMID: 23814285
clinical pharmacy services; expanded pharmacy services; patient expectations; services de pharmacie clinique; services de pharmacie élargis; attentes des patients
9.  Tobacco sales in pharmacies: a survey of attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of pharmacists employed in student experiential and other worksites in Western New York 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:413.
Background
Pharmacies are venues in which patients seek out products and professional advice in order to improve overall health. However, many pharmacies in the United States continue to sell tobacco products, which are widely known to cause detrimental health effects. This conflict presents a challenge to pharmacists, who are becoming increasingly more involved in patient health promotion activities. This study sought to assess Western New York (WNY) area pharmacists’ opinions about the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, and pharmacists’ opinions on their role in patient smoking cessation.
Methods
Participants responded to two parallel surveys; a web-based survey was completed by 148 university-affiliated pharmacist preceptors via a list based sample, and a mail-based survey was completed by the supervising pharmacist in 120 area pharmacies via a list-based sample. The combined response rate for both surveys was 31%. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to determine any significant differences between the preceptor and supervising pharmacist survey groups.
Results
Over 75% of respondents support legislation banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. Over 86% of respondents would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products. Differences between preceptor and supervising pharmacist groups were observed. Action regarding counseling patients was uncommon among both groups.
Conclusions
Pharmacists support initiatives that increase their role in cessation counseling and initiatives that restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. These data could have important implications for communities and pharmacy practice.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-413
PMCID: PMC3492148  PMID: 22867129
Tobacco sales; Pharmacists; Preceptors; Public health policy; Survey research; Pharmacies
10.  Results of a national survey on over-the-counter medicines, Part 1: Pharmacist opinion on current scheduling status 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2012;145(1):40-44.e1.
>Background: OTC medicines make up an important part of the community pharmacy world. As with most aspects of practice, however, hurdles exist that prevent an optimal level of care.
Objective: To gauge pharmacist agreement on the scheduling status of various OTC medicines.
Methods: Pharmacists across Canada were surveyed by mail.
Results: Of the 5037 surveys mailed, 2403 were returned, with 2305 being usable for analysis (response rate of 49.4%). Across 25 agents, pharmacists tended to support existing control for pharmacies (such as Nix crème rinse and minoxidil topical solution) and returning control to pharmacies for unscheduled agents (such as ranitidine 75 mg tablets and nicotine patches).
Conclusions: Pharmacists generally favour tighter control of OTC agents, especially those that are unscheduled. This hopefully reflects pharmacist desire to ensure their proper selection and use.
doi:10.3821/1913-701X-145.1.40
PMCID: PMC3567527  PMID: 23509487
11.  Hospital pharmacy practice in Saudi Arabia: Prescribing and transcribing in the Riyadh region 
Purpose
The purpose of this survey is to outline pharmacy services in hospitals on a regional level in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Methods
A modified-American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) survey questionnaire as pertinent to Saudi Arabia was used to conduct a national survey. After discussing with the pharmacy directors of 48 hospitals in the Riyadh region over the phone on the survey’s purpose, the questionnaires were personally delivered and collected upon completion. The hospital lists were drawn from the Ministry of Health hospital database.
Results
Twenty-nine hospitals participated in the survey giving a response rate of 60.4%. Approximately 60% of the hospitals which participated in the survey required prior approval for the use of non-formulary medications. About 83.3% of hospitals reviewed compliance with clinical practice guidelines and 72.7% hospitals reported that pharmacists are also actively involved in these activities. Pharmacists in more than 95% of hospitals provided consultations on drug information. A staff pharmacist routinely answering questions was the most frequently cited (74.1%) method by which objective drug information was provided to prescribers. Electronic drug information resources were available in 77.7% of hospitals, although internet use is not widely available to hospital pharmacists, with only 58.6% of hospitals providing pharmacist access to the internet. About, 34.5% of hospitals had computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems with clinical decision-support systems (CDSSs) and 51.9% of the hospitals had electronic medical record (EMR) system.
Conclusion
Hospital pharmacists are increasingly using electronic technologies to improve prescribing and transcribing of medications in Saudi Arabia.
doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2011.11.001
PMCID: PMC3745200  PMID: 23960794
Pharmacy services; Formulary management; Clinical practice; Pharmacist consultation; Drug information; Medication use
12.  Drug Monographs: Ziv-aflibercept and Vincristine Sulfate Liposome 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(1):14-22.
The complexity of cancer chemotherapy requires pharmacists be familiar with the complicated regimens and highly toxic agents used. This column reviews various issues related to preparation, dispensing, and administration of antineoplastic therapy, and the agents, both commercially available and investigational, used to treat malignant diseases. Questions or suggestions for topics should be addressed to Dominic A. Solimando, Jr, President, Oncology Pharmacy Services, Inc, 4201 Wilson Blvd #110-545, Arlington, VA 22203, e-mail: OncRxSvc@comcast.net; or J. Aubrey Waddell, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Oncology Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, e-mail: waddfour@charter.net.
doi:10.1310/hpj4801-14
PMCID: PMC3839431  PMID: 24421416
13.  Drug Monographs: Cabozantanib and Omacetaxine 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(5):373-377.
The complexity of cancer chemotherapy requires pharmacists be familiar with the complicated regimens and highly toxic agents used. This column reviews various issues related to preparation, dispensing, and administration of antineoplastic therapy, and the agents, both commercially available and investigational, used to treat malignant diseases. Questions or suggestions for topics should be addressed to Dominic A. Solimando, Jr, President, Oncology Pharmacy Services, Inc, 4201 Wilson Blvd #110-545, Arlington, VA 22203, e-mail: OncRxSvc@aol.com; or J. Aubrey Waddell, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Oncology Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, e-mail: waddfour@charter.net.
doi:10.1310/hpj4805-373
PMCID: PMC3839469  PMID: 24421492
14.  Drug Monographs: Bosutinib and Regorafenib 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(3):190-194.
The complexity of cancer chemotherapy requires pharmacists be familiar with the complicated regimens and highly toxic agents used. This column reviews various issues related to preparation, dispensing, and administration of antineoplastic therapy, and the agents, both commercially available and investigational, used to treat malignant diseases. Questions or suggestions for topics should be addressed to Dominic A. Solimando, Jr, President, Oncology Pharmacy Services, Inc, 4201 Wilson Blvd #110-545, Arlington, VA 22203, e-mail: OncRxSvc@comcast.net; or J. Aubrey Waddell, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Oncology Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, e-mail: waddfour@charter.net.
doi:10.1310/hpj4803-190
PMCID: PMC3839511  PMID: 24421459
15.  Drug Monographs: Pomalidomide and Ponatinib 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(8):636-641.
The complexity of cancer chemotherapy requires pharmacists be familiar with the complicated regimens and highly toxic agents used. This column reviews various issues related to preparation, dispensing, and administration of antineoplastic therapy, and the agents, both commercially available and investigational, used to treat malignant diseases. Questions or suggestions for topics should be addressed to Dominic A. Solimando, Jr., President, Oncology Pharmacy Services, Inc., 4201 Wilson Blvd #110-545, Arlington, VA 22203, e-mail: OncRxSvc@comcast.net; or J. Aubrey Waddell, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Oncology Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, e-mail: waddfour@charter.net.
doi:10.1310/hpj4808-636
PMCID: PMC3847975  PMID: 24421531
16.  Drug Monographs: Dabrafenib and Trametinib 
Hospital Pharmacy  2013;48(10):818-821.
The complexity of cancer chemotherapy requires pharmacists be familiar with the complicated regimens and highly toxic agents used. This column reviews various issues related to preparation, dispensing, and administration of antineoplastic therapy, and the agents, both commercially available and investigational, used to treat malignant diseases. Questions or suggestions for topics should be addressed to Dominic A. Solimando, Jr, President, Oncology Pharmacy Services, Inc., 4201 Wilson Blvd #110-545, Arlington, VA 22203, e-mail: OncRxSvc@aol.comcast.net; or J. Aubrey Waddell, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Oncology Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, e-mail: waddfour@charter.net.
doi:10.1310/hpj4810-818
PMCID: PMC3859275  PMID: 24421433
17.  Drug Monographs: Afatinib and Obinutuzumab 
Hospital Pharmacy  2014;49(3):237-241.
The complexity of cancer chemotherapy requires pharmacists be familiar with the complicated regimens and highly toxic agents used. This column reviews various issues related to preparation, dispensing, and administration of antineoplastic therapy, and the agents, both commercially available and investigational, used to treat malignant diseases. Questions or suggestions for topics should be addressed to Dominic A. Solimando, Jr, President, Oncology Pharmacy Services, Inc., 4201 Wilson Boulevard #110-545, Arlington, VA 22203, e-mail: OncRxSvc@comcast.net or J. Aubrey Waddell, Professor, University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy; Oncology Pharmacist, Pharmacy Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, e-mail: waddfour@charter.net.
doi:10.1310/hpj4903-237
PMCID: PMC3971107  PMID: 24715741
18.  Hospital pharmacists' participation in audit in the United Kingdom. 
Quality in Health Care  1993;2(4):228-231.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate systematically participation in audit of NHS hospital pharmacists in the United Kingdom. DESIGN--Questionnaire census survey. SETTING--All NHS hospital pharmacies in the UK providing clinical pharmacy services. SUBJECTS--462 hospital pharmacies. MAIN MEASURES--Extent and nature of participation in medical, clinical, and pharmacy audits according to hospital management and teaching status, educational level and specialisation of pharmacists, and perceived availability of resources. RESULTS--416 questionnaires were returned (response rate 90%). Pharmacists contributed to medical audit in 50% (204/410) of hospitals, pharmacy audit in 27% (108/404), and clinical audit in only 7% (29/404). Many pharmacies (59% (235/399)) were involved in one or more types of audit but few (4%, (15/399)) in all three. Participation increased in medical and pharmacy audits with trust status (medical audit: 57% (65/115) trust hospital v 47% (132/281) non-trust hospital; pharmacy audit: 34% (39/114) v 24% (65/276)) and teaching status (medical audit: 58% (60/104) teaching hospital v 47% (130/279) non-teaching hospital; pharmacy audit 30% (31/104) v 25% (68/273)) and similarly for highly qualified pharmacists (MPhil or PhD, MSc, diplomas) (medical audit: 54% (163/302) with these qualifications v 38% (39/103) without; pharmacy audit: 32% (95/298) v 13% (13/102)) and specialists pharmacists (medical audit: 61% (112/184) specialist v 41% (90/221) non-specialist; pharmacy audit: 37% (67/182) v 19% (41/218)). Pharmacies contributing to medical audit commonly provided financial information on drug use (86% 169/197). Pharmacy audits often concentrated on audit of clinical pharmacy services. CONCLUSION--Pharmacists are beginning to participate in the critical evaluation of health care, mainly in medical audit.
PMCID: PMC1055151  PMID: 10132456
19.  Pharmacists’ experiences with dispensing opioids 
Canadian Family Physician  2011;57(11):e448-e454.
Abstract
Objective
To explore pharmacists’ beliefs, practices, and experiences regarding opioid dispensing.
Design
Mailed survey.
Setting
The province of Ontario.
Participants
A total of 1011 pharmacists selected from the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ registration list.
Main outcome measures
Pharmacists’ experiences with opioid-related adverse events (intoxication and aberrant drug-related behaviour) and their interactions with physicians.
Results
A total of 652 pharmacists returned the survey, for a response rate of 64%. Most (86%) reported that they were concerned about several or many of their patients who were taking opioids; 36% reported that at least 1 patient was intoxicated from opioids while visiting their pharmacies within the past year. Reasons for opioid intoxication included the patient taking more than prescribed (84%), the patient using alcohol or sedating drugs along with the opioid (69.9%), or the prescribed dose being too high (34%). Participants’ most common concerns in the 3 months before the survey were patients coming in early for prescription refills, suspected double-doctoring, and requests for replacement doses for lost medication (reported frequently by 39%, 12%, and 16% of respondents, respectively). Pharmacists were concerned about physician practices, such as prescribing benzodiazepines along with opioids. Pharmacists reported difficulty in reaching physicians directly by telephone (43%), and indicated that physicians frequently did not return their calls promptly (28%). The strategies rated as most helpful for improving opioid dispensing were a provincial prescription database and opioid prescribing guidelines.
Conclusion
Pharmacists commonly observe opioid intoxication and aberrant drug-related behaviour in their patients but have difficulty communicating their concerns to physicians. System-wide strategies are urgently needed to improve the safety of opioid prescribing and to enhance communication between physicians and pharmacists.
PMCID: PMC3215629  PMID: 22084475
20.  Societal perspectives on community pharmacy services in West Bank - Palestine 
Pharmacy Practice  2012;10(1):17-24.
Background
Understanding the public's view of professional competency is extremely important; however little has been reported on the public's perception of community pharmacists in Palestine
Objective
To determine the perception of Palestinian consumers of the community pharmacist and the services they offer.
Methods
This project used the survey methodology administered by structured interviews to consumers who attended the 39 randomly selected pharmacies, in six main cities in Palestine. The questionnaire had range of structured questions covering: Consumers' patronage patterns, consumers’ interaction with community pharmacists, consumers’ views on how the pharmacist dealt with personal health issues, procedure with regard to handling private consultations.
Results
Of 1,017 consumers approached, 790 consumers completed the questionnaire (77.7 %). Proximity to home and presence of knowledgeable pharmacist were the main reasons for patients to visit the same pharmacy. Physicians were identified as the preferred source of advice by 57.2% and pharmacists by 23.8%. Only 17% of respondents considered pharmacists as health professionals who know a lot about drugs and are concerned about and committed to caring for the public. In addition, 49% indicated that pharmacists spoke more quietly cross the counter during counseling and almost one third reported that the pharmacist used a private area within the pharmacy. The majority of respondents would be happy to receive different extended services in the community pharmacy like blood pressure monitoring.
Conclusions
Palestinian consumers have a positive overall perception of community pharmacists and the services they offer. Awareness should be created amongst the public about the role of pharmacist and the added value they can provide as health care professional. There is a need to consider privacy when giving patient counseling to increase user satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC3798164  PMID: 24155812
Patient Satisfaction; Pharmacists; Professional Role; Middle East
21.  ‘It’s more about the heroin’: Injection drug users’ response to an overdose warning campaign in a Canadian setting 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2013;108(7):1270-1276.
Aims
To assess heroin injectors’ perceptions of and responses to a warning issued by public health officials regarding high-potency heroin and increases in fatal overdoses.
Design
Semi-structured qualitative interviews
Setting
Vancouver, Canada.
Participants
Eighteen active heroin injectors
Measurements
Semi-structured interview guide focussing on heroin injectors’ perceptions of and responses to the overdose warning, including reasons for failing to adhere to risk reduction recommendations.
Findings
Although nearly all participants were aware of the warning, their recollections of the message and the timing of its release were obscured by on-going social interactions within the drug scene focussed on heroin quality. Many injection drug users reported seeking the high potency heroin and nearly all reported no change in overdose risk behaviours. Responses to the warning were shaped by various social, economic and structural forces that interacted with individual behaviour and undermined efforts to promote behavioural change, including sales tactics employed by dealers, poverty, the high cost and shifting quality of available heroin, and risks associated with income-generating activities. Individual-level factors, including emotional suffering, withdrawal, entrenched injecting routines, perceived invincibility and the desire for intense intoxication also undermined risk reduction messages.
Conclusions
Among heroin injectors in British Columbia, a 2011 overdose warning campaign appeared to be of limited effectiveness and also produced unintended negative consequences that exacerbated overdose risk.
doi:10.1111/add.12151
PMCID: PMC3913056  PMID: 23551565
heroin; injection drug use; overdose; public health warning
22.  Communicating Risk to Smokers: The Impact of Health Warnings on Cigarette Packages 
Background
Health warnings on cigarette packages provide smokers with universal access to information on the risks of smoking. However, warnings vary considerably among countries, ranging from graphic depictions of disease on Canadian packages to obscure text warnings in the U.S. The current study examined the effectiveness of health warnings on cigarette packages in four countries.
Methods
Quasi-experimental design. Telephone surveys were conducted with representative cohorts of adult smokers (N= 14,975): Canada (n =3687); the U.S. (n =4273); the UK (n= 3634); and Australia (n =3381). Surveys were conducted between 2002 and 2005, before and at three time points following new warnings on UK packages.
Results
. At Wave 1, Canadian smokers reported the highest levels of awareness and impact for health warnings among the four countries, followed by Australian smokers. Following the implementation of new UK warnings at Wave 2, UK smokers reported greater levels of awareness and impact, although Canadian smokers continued to report higher levels of impact after adjusting for the implementation date. U.S. smokers reported the lowest levels of effectiveness for almost every measure recorded at each survey wave.
Conclusions
Large, comprehensive warnings on cigarette packages are more likely to be noticed and rated as effective by smokers. Changes in health warnings are also associated with increased effectiveness. Health warnings on U.S. packages, which were last updated in 1984, were associated with the least effectiveness.
doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2006.11.011
PMCID: PMC1868456  PMID: 17296472
23.  Impact of Interprofessional Activities on Health Professions Students’ Knowledge of Community Pharmacists’ Role and Services 
Objectives. To determine the impact of health professions students’ participation in interprofessional activities on their knowledge of the roles of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Methods. Students at the Medical University of South Carolina were surveyed via a self-administered online survey tool to determine their participation in interprofessional activities as well as their knowledge of the role of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Results. Over 600 students completed the survey instrument. Nonpharmacy students who attended the university-sponsored Interprofessional Day were more knowledgeable of pharmacist-provided services. Previous interaction with a pharmacist increased nonpharmacy students’ awareness of the services that pharmacists provide.
Conclusion. Participation in interprofessional activities increased health professions students’ awareness of the role of pharmacists. Continued education among healthcare professions about the role of and services provided by pharmacists is needed to ensure that pharmacists have the greatest possible impact on patient care.
doi:10.5688/ajpe758152
PMCID: PMC3220333  PMID: 22102742
community pharmacy; health professions; interprofessional education
24.  Survey of Sterile Admixture Practices in Canadian Hospital Pharmacies: Part 1. Methods and Results 
Background:
The 1996 Guidelines for Preparation of Sterile Products in Pharmacies of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) represent the current standard of practice for sterile compounding in Canada. However, these guidelines are practice recommendations, not enforceable standards. Previous surveys of sterile compounding practices have shown that actual practice deviates markedly from voluntary practice recommendations. In 2004, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) published its “General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding—Sterile Preparations”, which set a more rigorous and enforceable standard for sterile compounding in the United States.
Objectives:
To assess sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies and to compare them with current CSHP recommendations and USP chapter <797> standards.
Methods:
An online survey, based on previous studies of sterile compounding practices, the CSHP guidelines, and the chapter <797> standards, was created and distributed to 193 Canadian hospital pharmacies.
Results:
A total of 133 pharmacies completed at least part of the survey, for a response rate of 68.9%. All respondents reported the preparation of sterile products. Various degrees of deviation from the practice recommendations were noted for virtually all areas of the CSHP guidelines and the USP standards. Low levels of compliance were most notable in the areas of facilities and equipment, process validation, and product testing. Availability in the central pharmacy of a clean room facility meeting or exceeding the criteria of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) class 8 is a requirement of the chapter <797> standards, but more than 40% of responding pharmacies reported that they did not have such a facility. Higher levels of compliance were noted for policies and procedures, garbing requirements, aseptic technique, and handling of hazardous products. Part 1 of this series reports the survey methods and results relating to policies, personnel, raw materials, storage and handling, facilities and equipment, and garments. Part 2 will report results relating to preparation of aseptic products, expiry dating, labelling, process validation, product testing and release, documentation, records, and disposal of hazardous pharmaceuticals. It will also highlight some of the key areas where there is considerable opportunity for improvement.
Conclusion:
This survey identified numerous deficiences in sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies. Awareness of these deficiencies may create an impetus for critical assessment and improvements in practice.
PMCID: PMC2826929  PMID: 22478875
chapter <797>; sterile compounding; aseptic technique; chapitre <797>; préparation de produits stériles; techniques aseptiques
25.  Survey of Sterile Admixture Practices in Canadian Hospital Pharmacies: Part 2. More Results and Discussion 
Background:
The 1996 Guidelines for Preparation of Sterile Products in Pharmacies of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) represent the current standard of practice for sterile compounding in Canada. However, these guidelines are practice recommendations, not enforceable standards. Previous surveys of sterile compounding practices have shown that actual practice deviates markedly from voluntary practice recommendations. In 2004, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) published its “General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding—Sterile Preparations”, which set a more rigorous and enforceable standard for sterile compounding in the United States.
Objectives:
To assess sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies and to compare them with current CSHP recommendations and USP chapter <797> standards.
Methods:
An online survey, based on previous studies of sterile compounding practices, the CSHP guidelines, and the chapter <797> standards, was created and distributed to 193 Canadian hospital pharmacies.
Results:
A total of 133 pharmacies completed at least part of the survey, for a response rate of 68.9%. All respondents reported the preparation of sterile products. Various degrees of deviation from the practice recommendations were noted for virtually all areas of the CSHP guidelines and the USP standards. Low levels of compliance were most notable in the areas of facilities and equipment, process validation, and product testing. Availability in the central pharmacy of a clean room facility meeting or exceeding the criteria of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) class 8 is a requirement of the chapter <797> standards, but more than 40% of responding pharmacies reported that they did not have such a facility. Higher levels of compliance were noted for policies and procedures, garbing requirements, aseptic technique, and handling of hazardous products. The survey methods for this study and results relating to policies, personnel, raw materials, storage and handling, facilities and equipment, and garments were reported in Part 1. Part 2 reports results relating to preparation of aseptic products, expiry dating, labelling, process validation, product testing and release, documentation, records, and disposal of hazardous pharmaceuticals. It also highlights some of the key areas where there is considerable opportunity for improvement.
Conclusion:
This survey identified numerous deficiencies in sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies. Awareness of these deficiencies may create an impetus for critical assessment and improvements in practice.
PMCID: PMC2826950  PMID: 22478890
chapter <797>; sterile compounding; aseptic technique; expiry dating; process validation; disposal of hazardous pharmaceuticals; chapitre <797>; préparation de produits stériles; techniques aseptiques; attribution de la date de péremption; validation de la procédure; élimination des produits pharmaceutiques dangereux

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