Self-care, including self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, facilitates the public’s increased willingness to assume greater responsibility for their own health. Direct consultation with pharmacists provides efficient professional guidance for safe and appropriate OTC use.
The purpose of this study was to characterize patient perceptions of pharmacists and use of nonprescription therapy in an ambulatory care population in Qatar.
Patients having prescriptions filled at one organization’s private medical clinics during two distinct two-week periods were invited to participate in a short verbal questionnaire. Awareness of pharmacist roles in guiding OTC drug selection was assessed, as were patient preferences for OTC indications. Attitudes towards pharmacist and nurse drug knowledge and comfort with direct dispensing were also evaluated.
Five hundred seventy patients participated representing 29 countries. Most respondents were men (92.1%) with mean age of 38.3 years. Almost 1 in 7 did not know medical complaints could be assessed by a pharmacist (15.3%) and 1 in 5 (21.9%) were unaware pharmacists could directly supply OTC therapy. The majority (85.3%) would be interested in this service. In general, respondents were more comfortable with medication and related advice supplied by pharmacists as opposed to nursing professionals.
Patients were familiar with the roles of pharmacists as they pertain to self-medication with OTC therapy and described the desire to use such a service within this Qatar ambulatory health care setting.
patient; self-medication; over-the-counter; pharmacist; Qatar
The purpose of this study was to investigate the physicians’ perceptions, and expectations of their experiences with the pharmacists at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in Qatar.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at HMC between January and March 2006 using a validated questionnaire. The self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 500 physicians who were working at HMC comprising Hamad General Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Rumaila Hospital, Al-Amal Hospital, Al Khor Hospital, and primary health centers. The questionnaire was composed of four parts, investigating the physicians’ expectations, experiences, and perceptions of the pharmacists.
A total of 205 questionnaires were completed (response rate 41%). A total of 183 physicians (89%) expected the pharmacist to educate patients about safe and appropriate use of drugs, whereas 118 (57%) expected the pharmacist to be available for health-care team consultation during bedside rounds. The indices of physicians showing how comfortable they were with pharmacists, and their expectations of pharmacists, were 61% and 65%, respectively, whereas the index on experience of physicians with pharmacists was lower (15%).
Physicians were comfortable with pharmacists and had high expectations of pharmacists in performing their duties. However, physicians reported a poor experience with pharmacists, who infrequently informed them about the effectiveness of alternative drugs, patients experiencing problems with prescribed medications, and who took personal responsibility to resolve any drug-related problem.
hospital pharmacists; perceptions; expectations; experience; physicians; Qatar
To assess the public’s attitudes towards the community pharmacist’s role in Qatar, to investigate the public’s use of community pharmacy, and to determine the public’s views of and satisfaction with community pharmacy services currently provided in Qatar.
Materials and methods
Three community pharmacies in Qatar were randomly selected as study sites. Patients 16 years of age and over who were able to communicate in English or Arabic were randomly approached and anonymously interviewed using a multipart pretested survey.
Over 5 weeks, 58 patients were interviewed (60% response rate). A total of 45% of respondents perceived community pharmacists as having a good balance between health and business matters. The physician was considered the first person to contact to answer drug- related questions by 50% of respondents. Most patients agreed that the community pharmacist should provide them with the medication directions of use (93%) and advise them about the treatment of minor ailments (79%); however, more than 70% didn’t expect the community pharmacist to monitor their health progress or to perform any health screening. Half of the participants (52%) reported visiting the pharmacy at least monthly. The top factor that affected a patient’s choice of any pharmacy was pharmacy location (90%). When asked about their views about community pharmacy services in Qatar, only 37% agreed that the pharmacist gave them sufficient time to discuss their problem and was knowledgeable enough to answer their questions.
This pilot study suggested that the public has a poor understanding of the community pharmacist’s role in monitoring drug therapy, performing health screening, and providing drug information. Several issues of concern were raised including insufficient pharmacist– patient contact time and unsatisfactory pharmacist knowledge. To advance pharmacy practice in Qatar, efforts may be warranted to address identified issues and to promote the community pharmacist’s role in drug therapy monitoring, drug information provision, and health screening.
pharmacist; public; attitudes; Qatar
To characterize prescribing error interventions documented by pharmacists in four pharmacies in a primary health care service in Qatar.
The study was conducted in a primary health care service in the State of Qatar in the period from January to March 2008. Pharmacists in four clinics within the service used online, integrated health care software to document all clinical interventions made. Documented information included: patient’s age and gender, drug therapy details, the intervention’s details, its category, and its outcome. Interventions were categorized according to the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe Classification of drug-related problems (DRP).
The number of patients who had their prescriptions intercepted were 589 (0.71% of the total 82,800 prescriptions received). The intercepted prescriptions generated 890 DRP-related interventions (an average of 1.9% DRPs identified across the four clinics). Fifty-four percent of all interventions were classified as drug choice problems, and 42% had safety problems (dose too high, potential significant interaction). The prescriber accepted the intervention in 53% of all interventions, and the treatment was changed accordingly. Interventions as a result of transcription errors, legality and formulary issues were eliminated from this study through the use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE).
Documenting and analyzing interventions should be a routine activity in pharmacy practice setting in primary health care services. Educational outreach visits and other strategies can improve prescribing practices and enhance patient safety.
pharmacists; interventions; prescribing errors
To investigate older patient, physician and pharmacist perspectives about the pharmacists’ role in pharmacist-patient interactions.
Eight focus group discussions.
Senior centers, community pharmacies, primary care physician offices.
Forty-two patients aged 63 and older, 17 primary care physicians, and 13 community pharmacists.
Qualitative analysis of focus group discussions.
Participants in all focus groups indicated that pharmacists are a good resource for basic information about medications. Physicians appreciated pharmacists’ ability to identify drug interactions, yet did not comment on other specific aspects related to patient education and care. Physicians noted that pharmacists often were hindered by time constraints that impede patient counseling. Both patient and pharmacist participants indicated that patients often asked pharmacists to expand upon, reinforce, and explain physician-patient conversations about medications, as well as to evaluate medication appropriateness and physician treatment plans. These groups also noted that patients confided in pharmacists about medication-related problems before contacting physicians. Pharmacists identified several barriers to patient counseling, including lack of knowledge about medication indications and physician treatment plans.
Community-based pharmacists may often be presented with opportunities to address questions that can affect patient medication use. Older patients, physicians and pharmacists all value greater pharmacist participation in patient care. Suboptimal information flow between physicians and pharmacists may hinder pharmacist interactions with patients and detract from patient medication management. Interventions to integrate pharmacists into the patient healthcare team could improve patient medication management.
pharmacist-patient interactions; provider-patient communication; prescription medication; qualitative research methods
Few studies have reported the efficacy of collaborative care involving family physicians and community pharmacists for patients with dyslipidemia.
We randomly assigned clusters consisting of at least two physicians and at least four pharmacists to provide collaborative care or usual care. Under the collaborative care model, pharmacists counselled patients about their medications, requested laboratory tests, monitored the effectiveness and safety of medications and patients’ adherence to therapy, and adjusted medication dosages. After 12 months of follow-up, we assessed changes in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the primary outcome), the proportion of patients reaching their target lipid levels and changes in other risk factors.
Fifteen clusters representing a total of 77 physicians and 108 pharmacists were initially recruited, and a total of 51 physicians and 49 pharmacists were included in the final analyses. The collaborative care teams followed a total of 108 patients, and the usual care teams followed a total of 117 patients. At baseline, mean LDL cholesterol level was higher in the collaborative care group (3.5 v. 3.2 mmol/L, p = 0.05). During the study, patients in the collaborative care group were less likely to receive high-potency statins (11% v. 40%), had more visits with health care professionals and more laboratory tests, were more likely to have their lipid-lowering treatment changed and were more likely to report lifestyle changes. At 12 months, the crude incremental mean reduction in LDL cholesterol in the collaborative care group was −0.2 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [CI] −0.3 to −0.1), and the adjusted reduction was −0.05 (95% CI −0.3 to 0.2). The crude relative risk of achieving lipid targets for patients in the collaborative care group was 1.10 (95% CI 0.95 to 1.26), and the adjusted relative risk was 1.16 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.34).
Collaborative care involving physicians and pharmacists had no significant clinical impact on lipid control in patients with dyslipidemia. International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial register no. ISRCTN66345533.
To determine if there is improvement in medication management when pharmacists and family physicians collaborate to prescribe medication renewals requested by fax.
Prospective, non-randomized controlled trial.
W est Winds Primary Health Centre, an interdisciplinary health centre that includes an academic family medicine practice, located in Saskatoon, Sask.
All patients whose pharmacies faxed the health centre requesting prescription renewals between October 2007 and February 2008 were selected to participate in the study.
Medication renewal requests were forwarded to the pharmacist (who works in the clinic part-time) on days when he was working (intervention group). The pharmacist assessed drug-therapy issues that might preclude safe and effective prescribing of the medication. The pharmacist and physician then made a collaborative decision to authorize the requested medication or to request additional interventions first (eg, perform laboratory tests). When the pharmacist was not working, the physicians managed the renewal requests independently (control group).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Medication renewals authorized with no recommendations, medication-related problems identified, new monitoring tests ordered, and new appointments scheduled with health providers.
A total of 181 renewal requests were included (94 in the control group and 87 in the intervention group). The control group had significantly more requests authorized with no recommendations (75.5% vs 52.9%, P = .001). Those in the intervention group had significantly more medication-related problems identified (26 vs 10, P = .031); medication changes made (24 vs 10, P = .044); and new appointments scheduled with their family physicians (31 vs 21, P = .049).
There is an improvement in medication management when a pharmacist collaborates with family physicians to prescribe medication renewals. The collaborative model created significantly more activity with each renewal request (ie, identification of medication-related problems, medication changes, and new appointments), which reflects an improvement in the process of care.
Collaborative working relationships (CWRs) between community pharmacists and physicians may foster the provision of medication therapy management services, disease state management, and other patient care activities; however, pharmacists have expressed difficulty in developing such relationships. Additional work is needed to understand the specific pharmacist-physician exchanges that effectively contribute to the development of CWR. Data from successful pairs of community pharmacists and physicians may provide further insights into these exchange variables and expand research on models of professional collaboration.
To describe the professional exchanges that occurred between community pharmacists and physicians engaged in successful CWRs, using a published conceptual model and tool for quantifying the extent of collaboration.
A national pool of experts in community pharmacy practice identified community pharmacists engaged in CWRs with physicians. Five pairs of community pharmacists and physician colleagues participated in individual semistructured interviews, and 4 of these pairs completed the Pharmacist-Physician Collaborative Index (PPCI). Main outcome measures include quantitative (ie, scores on the PPCI) and qualitative information about professional exchanges within 3 domains found previously to influence relationship development: relationship initiation, trustworthiness, and role specification.
On the PPCI, participants scored similarly on trustworthiness; however, physicians scored higher on relationship initiation and role specification. The qualitative interviews revealed that when initiating relationships, it was important for many pharmacists to establish open communication through face-to-face visits with physicians. Furthermore, physicians were able to recognize in these pharmacists a commitment for improved patient care. Trustworthiness was established by pharmacists making consistent contributions to care that improved patient outcomes over time. Open discussions regarding professional roles and an acknowledgment of professional norms (ie, physicians as decision makers) were essential.
The findings support and extend the literature on pharmacist-physician CWRs by examining the exchange domains of relationship initiation, trustworthiness, and role specification qualitatively and quantitatively among pairs of practitioners. Relationships appeared to develop in a manner consistent with a published model for CWRs, including the pharmacist as relationship initiator, the importance of communication during early stages of the relationship, and an emphasis on high-quality pharmacist contributions.
Pharmacists; Physicians; Collaborative working relationships; Pharmacist-physician collaborative index; Community
Today there are significant gaps between reaching the goal of “optimal medication therapy” and the current state of medication use in the United States. Pharmacists are highly accessible and well-trained—yet often underutilized—key health care professionals who can move us closer toward achieving better medication therapy outcomes for patients. Diabetes medication management programs led by pharmacists are described. This is consistent with the “medical home” concept of care that promotes primary care providers working collaboratively to coordinate patient-centered care. Pharmacists utilize their clinical expertise in monitoring and managing diabetes medication plans to positively impact health outcomes and empower patients to actively manage their health. In addition, pharmacists can serve as a resource to other health care providers and payers to assure safe, appropriate, cost-effective diabetes medication use.
collaborative drug-therapy management; diabetes management; medication therapy management; pharmacists; role of pharmacists
The quality of pharmacologic care provided to older adults is less than optimal. Medication therapy management (MTM) programs delivered to older adults in the ambulatory care setting may improve the quality of medication use for these individuals.
We conducted focus groups with older adults and primary care physicians to explore: (1) older adults' experiences working with a clinical pharmacist in managing medications, (2) physician perspectives on the role of clinical pharmacists in facilitating medication management, and (3) key attributes of an effective MTM program and potential barriers from both patient and provider perspectives.
Five focus groups (4 with older adults, 1 with primary care physicians) were conducted by a trained moderator using a semi-structured interview guide. Each participant completed a demographic questionnaire. Sessions were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative analysis software for theme identification.
Twenty-eight older adults and 8 physicians participated. Older adults valued the professional, trusting nature of their interactions with the pharmacist. They found the clinical pharmacist to be a useful resource, thorough, personable, and a valuable team member. Physicians believe the clinical pharmacist fills a unique role as a specialized practitioner, contributing meaningfully to patient care. Physicians emphasized the importance of effective communication, pharmacist's access to the medical record, and a mutually-trusting relationship as key attributes of a program. Potential barriers to an effective program include poor communication and lack of familiarity with the patient's history. The lack of a sustainable reimbursement model was cited as a barrier to widespread implementation of MTM.
This study provides information to assist pharmacists in designing MTM programs in the ambulatory setting. Key attributes of an effective program include one that is comprehensive, addressing all medication-related needs over time. The clinical pharmacist's ability to build trusting relationships with both patients and providers is essential.
older adults; medication management; focus groups; collaborative practice; pharmacists
Strong working relationships between pharmacists and physicians are needed to optimize patient care. Understanding attitudes and barriers to collaboration between pharmacists and physicians may help with delivery of primary health care services. The objective of this study was to capture the opinions of family physicians and community pharmacists in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) regarding collaborative practice.
Two parallel surveys were offered to all community pharmacists and family physicians in NL. Surveys assessed the following: attitudes and experience with collaborative practice, preferred communication methods, perceived role of pharmacists, areas for more collaboration and barriers to collaborative practice. Results for both groups were analyzed separately, with comparisons between groups to compare responses with similar questions.
Survey response rates were 78.6% and 7.1% for pharmacists and physicians, respectively. Both groups overwhelmingly agreed that collaborative practice could result in improved patient outcomes and agreed that major barriers were lack of time and compensation and the need to deal with multiple pharmacists/physicians. Physicians indicated they would like more collaboration for insurance approvals and patient counselling, while pharmacists want to assist with identifying and managing patients’ drug-related problems. Both groups want more collaboration to improve patient adherence.
Both groups agree that collaborative practice can positively affect patient outcomes and would like more collaboration opportunities. However, physicians and pharmacists disagree about the areas where they would like to collaborate to deliver care. Changes to reimbursement models and infrastructure are needed to facilitate enhanced collaboration between pharmacists and physicians in the community setting.
To investigate older patient, pharmacist, and physician perspectives about what information is essential to impart to patients receiving new medication prescriptions and who should provide the information.
Qualitative focus group discussions.
Senior centers, retail pharmacies, and primary care physician offices.
Forty-two patients aged 65 and older, 13 pharmacists, and 17 physicians participated in eight focus groups.
Qualitative analysis of transcribed focus group interviews and consensus through iterative review by multidisciplinary auditors.
Patient, pharmacist, and physician groups all affirmed the importance of discussing medication directions and side effects and said that physicians should educate about side effects and that pharmacists could adequately counsel about certain important issues. However, there was substantial disagreement between groups about which provider could communicate which critical elements of medication-related information. Some pharmacists felt that they were best equipped to discuss medication-related issues but acknowledged that many patients want physicians to do this. Physicians tended to believe that they should provide most new-medication education for patients. Patients had mixed preferences. Patients aged 80 and older listed fewer critical topics of discussion than younger patients.
Patients, pharmacists, and physicians have incongruent beliefs about who should provide essential medication-related information. Differing expectations could lead to overlapping, inefficient efforts that result in communication deficiencies when patients receive a new medication. Collaborative efforts to ensure that patients receive complete information about new medications could be explored.
provider–patient communication; physician–patient communication; prescription medication; older patients; qualitative focus group interviews
To ascertain the opinions of graduating family physicians about collaboration between family physicians and community pharmacists.
Anonymous online survey.
Two French-Canadian university family medicine residency programs.
The 2010 and 2011 graduating family physicians (N = 343) from the University of Montreal and Laval University in Quebec.
Main outcome measures
Content of written prescriptions; frequency of and reasons for consultations with community pharmacists; and graduates’ perceptions of sharing professional responsibilities with community pharmacists.
The response rate was 54.2%. Overall, graduates were open to collaborating actively with community pharmacists. For example, at least 60% of graduates reported that it was important to write on prescriptions about any changes to patients’ medication and creatinine clearance. Most graduates responded positively to sharing responsibility for the adjustment of treatment of patients with certain chronic conditions (88.3% for anticoagulation, 64.7% for hypercholesterolemia, 61.2% for hypertension, and 60.6% for diabetes) and for the initiation of treatment of minor conditions according to a collective prescription (80.6% for traveler’s diarrhea, 74.1% for juvenile acne, and 73.6% for allergic rhinitis). However, such interprofessional collaboration requires that each professional group continues to adapt to its roles and responsibilities.
Family medicine graduates are open to actively collaborating with community pharmacists, but they have some reservations regarding sharing certain responsibilities. As collaborative practices are changing, graduates’ opinions should be documented once they are actually practising.
Pharmacist-physician co-management of hypertension has been shown to improve office blood pressures (BP). We sought to describe the effect of such a model on 24-hour ambulatory BPs.
We performed a prospective, cluster-randomised controlled clinical trial in 179 patients with uncontrolled hypertension from five primary care clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Patients were randomized by clinic to receive pharmacist-physician collaborative management of hypertension (intervention) or usual care (control) for a 9-month period. In the intervention group, pharmacists helped patients identify barriers to BP control, counselled on lifestyle and dietary modifications, and adjusted antihypertensive therapy in collaboration with the patient’s primary care provider. Patients were seen by pharmacists a minimum every 2 months. Ambulatory BP was obtained at baseline and study end.
Baseline and end of study ambulatory BP profiles were evaluated for 175 patients. Ambulatory BPs were reduced to a greater extent in the intervention compared to control group (daytime ΔSBP [SD] 15.2[11.5] vs 5.5[13.5], p<0.001; nighttime ΔSBP [SD] 12.2[14.8] vs 3.4[13.3], p<0.001; 24-hour ΔSBP [SD] 14.1[11.3] vs 5.5[12.5], p<0.001). More patients in the intervention group had BP controlled at the end of the study (75% vs 50.7%, p<0.001) as defined by overall 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring.
Pharmacist-physician collaborative management of hypertension achieved consistent and significantly greater reduction in 24-hour BP and a high rate of BP control.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; pharmacist/physician collaboration; blood pressure; hypertension management; cardiovascular risk; team-based care
Medication-related problems are a serious concern in Australian primary care. Pharmacist interventions have been shown to be effective in identifying and resolving these problems. Collaborative general practitioner-pharmacist services currently available in Australia are limited and underused. Limitations include geographical isolation of pharmacists and lack of communication and access to patient information. Co-location of pharmacists within the general practice clinics is a possible solution. There have been no studies in the Australian setting exploring the role of pharmacists within general practice clinics.
The aim of this study is to develop and test a multifaceted practice pharmacist role in primary care practices to improve the quality use of medicines by patients and clinic staff.
This is a multi-centre, prospective intervention study with a pre-post design and a qualitative component. A practice pharmacist will be located in each of two clinics and provide short and long patient consultations, drug information services and quality assurance activities. Patients receiving long consultation with a pharmacist will be followed up at 3 and 6 months. Based on sample size calculations, at least 50 patients will be recruited for long patient consultations across both sites. Outcome measures include the number, type and severity of medication-related problems identified and resolved; medication adherence; and patient satisfaction. Brief structured interviews will be conducted with patients participating in the study to evaluate their experiences with the service. Staff collaboration and satisfaction with the service will be assessed.
This intervention has the potential to optimise medication use in primary care clinics leading to better health outcomes. This study will provide data about the effectiveness of the proposed model for pharmacist involvement in Australian general practice clinics, that will be useful to guide further research and development in this area.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12612000742875
Pharmacists; Primary healthcare; General practice; Multidisciplinary; Family practice
Pharmacists can improve patient outcomes in institutional and pharmacy settings, but little is known about their effectiveness as consultants to primary care physicians. We examined whether an intervention by a specially trained pharmacist could reduce the number of daily medication units taken by elderly patients, as well as costs and health care use.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial in family practices in 24 sites in Ontario. We randomly allocated 48 randomly selected family physicians (69.6% participation rate) to the intervention or the control arm, along with 889 (69.5% participation rate) of their randomly selected community-dwelling, elderly patients who were taking 5 or more medications daily. In the intervention group, pharmacists conducted face-to-face medication reviews with the patients and then gave written recommendations to the physicians to resolve any drug-related problems. Process outcomes included the number of drug-related problems identified among the senior citizens in the intervention arm and the proportion of recommendations implemented by the physicians.
After 5 months, seniors in the intervention and control groups were taking a mean of 12.4 and 12.2 medication units per day respectively (p = 0.50). There were no statistically significant differences in health care use or costs between groups. A mean of 2.5 drug-related problems per senior was identified in the intervention arm. Physicians implemented or attempted to implement 72.3% (790/1093) of the recommendations.
The intervention did not have a significant effect on patient outcomes. However, physicians were receptive to the recommendations to resolve drug-related problems, suggesting that collaboration between physicians and pharmacists is feasible.
Translation of evidence-based guidelines into clinical practice has been inconsistent. We performed a randomized, controlled trial of guideline-based care suggestions delivered to physicians when writing orders on computer workstations.
Inner-city academic general internal medicine practice.
Randomized, controlled trial of 246 physicians (25 percent faculty general internists, 75 percent internal medicine residents) and 20 outpatient pharmacists. We enrolled 706 of their primary care patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Care suggestions concerning drugs and monitoring were delivered to a random half of the physicians and pharmacists when writing orders or filling prescriptions using computer workstations. A 2 × 2 factorial randomization of practice sessions and pharmacists resulted in four groups of patients: physician intervention, pharmacist intervention, both interventions, and controls.
Data Extraction/Collection Methods
Adherence to the guidelines and clinical activity was assessed using patients' electronic medical records. Health-related quality of life, medication adherence, and satisfaction with care were assessed using telephone questionnaires.
During their year in the study, patients made an average of five scheduled primary care visits. There were no differences between groups in adherence to the care suggestions, generic or condition-specific quality of life, satisfaction with physicians or pharmacists, medication compliance, emergency department visits, or hospitalizations. Physicians receiving the intervention had significantly higher total health care costs. Physician attitudes toward guidelines were mixed.
Care suggestions shown to physicians and pharmacists on computer workstations had no effect on the delivery or outcomes of care for patients with reactive airways disease.
medical decision making; guidelines; quality improvement
To evaluate blood pressure (BP) control following discontinuation of a physician\pharmacist collaborative intervention.
BP was previously measured at baseline and at the end of a 9-month cluster-randomized intervention trial. This study abstracted medical record data for mean BP and BP control at 18 months (9 months after the discontinuation of the intervention) and at 27 months (18 months after discontinuation of the intervention).
Five primary care medical offices operated by a university health system.
Subjects with hypertension who were enrolled in a previous controlled trial and who consented to have data abstracted for an additional 18 months following the end of that study.
A physician\pharmacist collaborative intervention to improve BP control was withdrawn after 9 months and BP and the change in BPs following withdrawal of the intervention were evaluated.
A research nurse measured BP during the 9-month interventional study. BP values were then abstracted from the medical record for the 18 month period after the end of that study.
104 patients had BP values at all 4 time periods. At baseline, systolic BP (SBP) was 152.5 ± 9.5 and 150.1 ± 9.6 mm Hg in the intervention and control groups, respectively (p=0.22). At 9 months, SBP decreased to 124.5 ± 10.7 and 132.0 ± 15.1 mm Hg (p=0.0038 between groups) and BP was controlled in 78.5% and 48.7% in the intervention and control groups, respectively (p=0.0017). By 18 months, SBP had deteriorated to 131.0 ± 12.2 and 143.3 ± 17.5 mm Hg (p<0.001) and BP control rates deteriorated to 53.9% and 30.8% in the intervention and control groups, respectively (p=0.02). By 27 months, SBP was 131.3 ± 13.0 and 141.2 ± 15.8 mm Hg (p=0.0008) and BP control was 55.3% and 35.9% in the intervention and control groups, respectively (p=0.05).
This study found a sustained effect on BP control up to 18 months following discontinuation of a pharmacist intervention. However, BP control deteriorated at a similar rate in both the intervention and control group but remained significantly higher in the intervention group. This study suggests that continued interventions by pharmacists may be necessary to maintain high rates of BP control, especially in those patients who lose BP control.
hypertension management; clinical trial; pharmacist management; team-care; blood pressure control
To describe the integration of collaborative medication therapy management (CMTM) into a safety net patient-centered medical home (PCMH).
Federally qualified Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Richmond, VA, from October 2008 to June 2010.
A CMTM model was developed by pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers and integrated with a PCMH. CMTM, as delivered, consisted of (1) medication assessment, (2) development of care plan, and (3) follow-up.
CMTM is integrated with the medical and mental health clinics of PCMH in a safety net setting that serves homeless individuals.
Main outcome measures
Number of patients having a CMTM encounter, number and type of medication-related problems identified for a subset of patients in the mental health and medical clinics, pharmacist recommendations, and acceptance rate of pharmacist recommendations.
Since October 2008, 695 patients have had a CMTM encounter. An analysis of 209 patients in the mental health clinic indicated that 425 medication-related problems were identified (2.0/patient). Pharmacists made 452 recommendations to resolve problems, and 384 (85%) pharmacist recommendations were accepted by providers and/or patients. For 40 patients in the medical clinic, 205 medication-related problems were identified (5.1/patient). Pharmacists made 217 recommendations to resolve the problems, and 194 (89%) recommendations were accepted.
Integrating CMTM with a safety net PCMH was a valuable patient-centered strategy for addressing medication-related problems among homeless individuals. The high acceptance rate of pharmacist recommendations demonstrates the successful integration of pharmacist services.
Medication therapy management; patient-centered medical home; collaborative care
To assess Croatian community pharmacists' patient care competencies using the General Level Framework (GLF).
The competencies of 100 community pharmacists working in 38 community pharmacies were evaluated using an adapted version of the GLF.
Pharmacists demonstrated the best performance in the competency areas drug specific issues and provision of drug products; the poorest performance was in the competency areas evaluation of outcomes and monitoring drug therapy. Pharmacists' behavior varied the most in the following areas: ensuring that the prescription is legal, prioritization of medication management problems, and identification of drug-drug interactions.
Competencies were identified that need to be developed to improve pharmacist interventions in community settings. This study provides the first data on pharmacists' performance in Croatia and serves as a starting point for future studies and actions.
competency; pharmacist; General Level Framework; Croatia; community pharmacy
Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes and the lack of patients reaching recommended therapeutic goals, novel models of team-based care are emerging. These teams typically include a combination of physicians, nurses, case managers, pharmacists, and community-based peer health promoters (HPs). Recent evidence supports the role of pharmacists in diabetes management to improve glycemic control, as they offer expertise in medication management with the ability to collaboratively intensify therapy. However, few studies of pharmacy-based models of care have focused on low income, minority populations that are most in need of intervention. Alternatively, HP interventions have focused largely upon low income minority groups, addressing their unique psychosocial and environmental challenges in diabetes self-care. This study will evaluate the impact of HPs as a complement to pharmacist management in a randomized controlled trial.
The primary aim of this randomized trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical pharmacists and HPs on diabetes behaviors (including healthy eating, physical activity, and medication adherence), hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, and LDL-cholesterol levels. A total of 300 minority patients with uncontrolled diabetes from the University of Illinois Medical Center ambulatory network in Chicago will be randomized to either pharmacist management alone, or pharmacist management plus HP support. After one year, the pharmacist-only group will be intensified by the addition of HP support and maintenance will be assessed by phasing out HP support from the pharmacist plus HP group (crossover design). Outcomes will be evaluated at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months. In addition, program and healthcare utilization data will be incorporated into cost and cost-effectiveness evaluations of pharmacist management with and without HP support.
The study will evaluate an innovative, integrated approach to chronic disease management in minorities with poorly controlled diabetes. The approach is comprised of clinic-based pharmacists and community-based health promoters collaborating together. They will target patient-level factors (e.g., lack of adherence to lifestyle modification and medications) and provider-level factors (e.g., clinical inertia) that contribute to poor clinical outcomes in diabetes. Importantly, the study design and analytic approach will help determine the differential and combined impact of adherence to lifestyle changes, medication, and intensification on clinical outcomes.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01498159
(3–10): Diabetes mellitus/drug therapy; Patient compliance; Patient education; Pharmacists; Community health workers
The family physician's relationship with the community pharmacist has tended to be biased. The physician sees the pharmacist simply as a dispenser of drugs. Physicians and pharmacists are usually physically separated, lessening their chances of a collaborative working relationship. Family physicians' traditional sources of drug information include journals, colleagues and drug company literature. However, when they have some form of regular interaction with a pharmacist, physicians tend to see the pharmacist as a main source of drug information. The proper use of medication involves three critical relationships: doctor/patient, doctor/pharmacist, and pharmacist/patient. The doctor/pharmacist relationship has several components: individual consultations, regular team meetings, and establishment of a limited formulary for physicians and residents. There is evidence that compliance is improved when the pharmacist is involved in patient education.
Pharmacist; family physician; primary care
To analyze clinical pharmacist interventions in the intensive care units (ICUs) setting of a tertiary care Indian hospital and to assess the pharmacoeconomic impact on drug-related problems (DRPs).
Materials and Methods:
A postgraduate clinical pharmacist reviewed drug prescriptions over a period of 7 months. Whenever a DRP is identified, it was discussed with a physician and appropriate suggestions were provided, later it was documented on a preprepared form. Clinical significance of each intervention was graded based on the predicted clinical outcome. Acceptance of the interventions is entirely at the discretion of the medical staff. Each intervention was analyzed with respect to potential cost saving and/or additional cost incurred to existing drug therapy. An independent clinical panel was convened, and all the interventions made by the intervening pharmacist were critically reviewed for potential cost savings.
The intervening pharmacist made 117 recommendations, of which 94% was accepted by the medical professionals. The most frequent DRP identified was overdose (24%). The total net cost savings made was Rs. 77260.13 (USD 1796.73). This corresponds with Rs. 965.75 per patient and an annualized savings of Rs. 135205.22.
Clinical pharmacist interventions had a significant impact on the cost of drug therapy and the patient outcome in intensive care settings of our hospital.
Cost savings; drug-related problems; intensive care units; interventions; pharmacist
To compare costs associated with a physician-pharmacist collaborative intervention with costs for usual care.
Cost calculation using healthcare utilization and outcomes from prospective, cluster randomized controlled clinical trials.
Eleven community-based medical offices in the Midwest.
496 patients with high blood pressure.
A physician-pharmacist collaborative care program to manage hypertension.
Measurements and Main Results
Total costs included provider time, laboratory tests, and antihypertensive medications. Provider time was calculated based on 1) an online survey of intervention pharmacists and 2) National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Cost parameters were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Medicare laboratory fee schedule, and a publicly available drug price website. The total costs were adjusted for patient characteristics. Adjusted total costs were $774.90 in the intervention group and $445.75 in the control group (difference = $329.16; p< 0.001). In a sensitivity analysis, the difference in adjusted total costs between the two groups ranged from $224.27 to $515.56. The intervention cost was $1,338.05 ($329.16/24.6% blood pressure control rate) for each additional patient who attained blood pressure control within six months. The cost over 6 months to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure 1 mm Hg was $36.25 and $94.32, respectively.
The physician-pharmacist collaborative intervention increased blood pressure control but also increased the cost of care. Additional research, such as a cost-benefit or a cost-minimization analysis, is needed to assess if financial savings related to reduced morbidity and mortality achieved from better blood pressure control outweighs the cost.
Hypertension; physician-pharmacist collaboration; costs
In Canada, the education of pharmacists is built upon a foundation of strong, research-intensive publicly funded universities and a universal health-care system that balances government and private financing for prescription medications. The evolution of pharmacy education and practice in Canada has laid the foundation for a variety of emerging trends related to expanded roles for pharmacists, increasing interprofessional collaboration for patient-centered care, and emergence of pharmacy technicians as a soon-to-be regulated professional group in parts of the country. Current challenges include the need to better integrate internationally educated pharmacists within the domestic workforce and tools to ensure continuous professional development and maintenance of competency of practitioners. Academic pharmacy is currently debating how best to manage the need to enhance the pharmacy curriculum to meet current and future skills needs, and whether a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree ought to become the standard entry-to-practice qualification for pharmacists in Canada.
Canada; comparative education; international pharmacy education