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1.  Effects of a Pharmacy-Driven Perisplenectomy Vaccination Program on Vaccination Rates and Adherence to Guidelines 
Background
Overwhelming postsplenectomy infection is a serious potential outcome for patients who have undergone resection of the spleen and is associated with a high mortality rate. The most common bacterial causes are the encapsulated organisms Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Hemophilus influenzae type B, all of which are vaccine-preventable. Current guidelines recommend vaccination against these 3 bacteria, but adherence to these guidelines is less than ideal. In 2007, a “perisplenectomy vaccination kit” was introduced at the authors’ institution to improve compliance with immunization guidelines by making the vaccines and necessary information for patients and providers more readily available.
Objective:
To evaluate and compare vaccination rates for patients who underwent splenectomy before and after introduction of the perisplenectomy vaccination kit and, secondarily, to identify any characteristics unique to those who did not receive appropriate perisplenectomy vaccinations.
Methods:
In this observational study, performed at the QEII Health Sciences Centre of Capital Health in Halifax, Nova Scotia, data were reviewed for patients who underwent splenectomy between 2008 and 2011. Vaccination rates and other descriptive statistics were calculated and compared with data for a 3-year period before implementation of the program.
Results:
Vaccination rates in the 3-year period following implementation of the perisplenectomy vaccination kit were 100% against S. pneumoniae, 97% against N. meningitidis, and 93% against H. influenzae type B. The corresponding rates in the 3 years before introduction of the kit were 91%, 75%, and 68%, respectively. No characteristics predicting inadequate immunization were identified in univariate or multivariate analysis.
Conclusion:
Introduction of a pharmacy-driven perisplenectomy vaccination kit program improved rates of appropriate vaccination for patients who underwent splenectomy.
PMCID: PMC4152964  PMID: 25214656
splenectomy; vaccination; immunization; overwhelming postsplenectomy infection; splénectomie; vaccination; immunisation; infection fulminante post-splénectomie
2.  Enhancing Collaborative Pharmaceutical Care for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: Survey of Community Pharmacists 
Background
The Kidney Care Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre provides multidisciplinary care for patients with stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease. These patients are at high risk of drug therapy problems. Clinic pharmacists review medications and provide recommendations at each visit, but potential gaps in care exist between clinic visits. Community pharmacists are ideally situated to identify and resolve drug therapy problems between visits.
Objectives:
To determine community pharmacists’ confidence in managing care for patients with chronic kidney disease; to identify opportunities for improving collaboration between clinic and community pharmacists; and to determine the key clinical information that community pharmacists would use when caring for these patients.
Methods:
An anonymous survey was sent by mail and electronically to community pharmacies that were providing prescription medications for clinic patients. A total of 318 surveys were sent to 96 pharmacies. Data analysis was based on descriptive statistics, including frequencies, ranges, and measures of central tendency.
Results:
Fifty-one completed surveys were returned (response rate 16%). Thirty-five (69%) of the responding pharmacists were not aware or were unsure that a patient from the Kidney Care Clinic was a client of their pharmacy. Forty-six (90%) were confident in providing counselling about medications used to manage chronic kidney disease, and 32 (63%) indicated confidence in recommending drug dosing changes based on kidney function. Forty-five (88%) of the pharmacists indicated a willingness to play a greater role in reviewing medications for patients with chronic kidney disease, and all agreed that they would benefit from education about the complications of this disease and their management. Clinical information ranked most useful included an updated medication list with indications and details regarding recent medication changes.
Conclusions:
Community pharmacists indicated willingness to have greater involvement in the care of patients with chronic kidney disease. The survey results revealed a need to increase awareness of clinic patients among community providers. Participants were receptive to continuing education, and initial efforts should focus on dosing adjustments of renal drugs and the complications of chronic kidney disease. Tools for transferring clinical information must be developed.
PMCID: PMC4152965  PMID: 25214657
seamless care; pharmaceutical care; chronic kidney disease; collaborative; clinic; community pharmacist; soins continus; soins pharmaceutiques; insuffisance rénale chronique; collaboration; clinique; pharmacien communautaire
3.  Stability of Extemporaneously Compounded Dexamethasone in Glass and Plastic Bottles and Plastic Syringes 
Background
Dexamethasone is widely used to treat rheumatic and endocrine disorders and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. A palatable, alcohol-free liquid formulation, with a suitable concentration to allow reasonable administration volume, is available only via extemporaneous compounding.
Objective:
To evaluate the stability of dexamethasone suspensions in commercially available vehicles (Oral Mix and Oral Mix SF) in various types of containers after storage at 25°C and 4°C for up to 91 days.
Methods:
Dexamethasone suspensions (1 mg/mL) were prepared in Oral Mix and Oral Mix SF and then transferred to amber glass and plastic prescription bottles and plastic oral syringes. Suspensions in all 3 types of containers were stored at 25°C; suspensions in glass and plastic bottles were also stored at 4°C. Samples were collected weekly from each container up to 28 days and then every 2 weeks up to 91 days. The samples were analyzed by a validated, stability-indicating high-performance liquid chromatography − ultraviolet detection method. A suspension was considered stable if it maintained at least 90% of its initial dexamethasone concentration. Changes in colour, taste, odour, precipitation (and ease of resuspension), and pH were used to assess physical compatibility.
Results:
All suspensions maintained at least 96% of the original concentration for up to 91 days with storage at 25°C or at 4°C. No notable changes in colour, taste, odour, precipitation, or pH were observed over the 91-day period.
Conclusion:
Dexamethasone suspensions (1 mg/mL) in Oral Mix and Oral Mix SF, stored in amber glass or plastic bottles or plastic syringes at 25°C or in amber glass or plastic bottles at 4°C can be expected to remain stable for up to 91 days.
PMCID: PMC4152966  PMID: 25214658
dexamethasone; suspension; stability; high-performance liquid chromatography; dexaméthasone; suspension; stabilité; chromatographie liquide haute performance
4.  Evaluation of a Once-Daily Vancomycin Regimen in an Outpatient Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic (OD-VANCO Study) 
Background
The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia manages patients with high-risk febrile neutropenia and those with non-neutropenic immunocompromised states in an outpatient clinic setting. Because the program treats outpatients only, once-daily administration of IV antibiotics is desirable. A high-dose, once-daily vancomycin nomogram was developed and implemented as part of the antibiotic treatment regimen.
Objective:
To determine if therapeutic vancomycin trough levels could be achieved with a high-dose, once-daily regimen in this outpatient setting.
Methods:
A prospective, single-centre, observational cohort study was conducted over a 7-month period. Outpatients in the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program were started on IV vancomycin with the high-dose, once-daily vancomycin nomogram, and outcomes were assessed.
Results:
Of 48 outpatients treated over the 7-month period, 10 (21%) had therapeutic vancomycin trough concentrations (i.e., greater than 10 mg/L). Thirty-five (90%) of the 39 patients with suspected clinical infection experienced clinical cure, and 6 (67%) of the 9 patients with documented microbiological infection experienced microbiological cure. Thirty (62%) of the 48 patients experienced symptoms of “red man syndrome”, and 7 (15%) experienced some degree of nephrotoxicity. Two of 3 patients with laboratory-reported minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for identified pathogens had a calculated area under the curve to MIC ratio greater than or equal to 400.
Conclusion:
The high-dose, once-daily vancomycin nomogram was effective in attaining trough levels greater than 10 mg/L in only 21% of patients in this study. A substantial number of adverse drug reactions were observed. Given these results, high-dose, once-daily vancomycin is no longer recommended for outpatient therapy.
PMCID: PMC4152967  PMID: 25214659
once-daily vancomycin; febrile neutropenia; nomogram; therapeutic drug monitoring; administration uniquotidienne de vancomycine; neutropénie fébrile; nomogramme; suivi thérapeutique pharmacologique
14.  Paternité des articles et intérêts concurrents : une analyse des recommandations aux auteurs des journaux traitant de pratique pharmaceutique 
RÉSUMÉ
Contexte :
La présence d’auteurs honorifiques et fantômes ainsi que les intérêts concurrents représentent des difficultés bien documentées, liées à la publication d’articles scientifiques. Il existe des lignes directrices encadrant la rédaction et la publication de manuscrits scientifiques, notamment celles de l’International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Objectifs :
L’objectif principal de cette étude descriptive et transversale visait à recenser les instructions portant sur la paternité des articles et les intérêts concurrents provenant des recommandations aux auteurs des journaux traitant de pratique pharmaceutique. L’objectif secondaire visait à déterminer des mesures correctrices pour une paternité des articles plus transparente.
Méthode :
La recherche a débuté par l’identification des journaux traitant de pratique pharmaceutique. La consultation des instructions aux auteurs des journaux a permis ensuite de recenser les recommandations destinées à éviter les problèmes de paternité des articles et d’intérêts concurrents. Finalement, les membres de l’équipe de recherche se sont consultés afin de définir des mesures correctrices possibles à l’intention des chercheurs.
Résultats :
Des 232 journaux traitant de pharmacie, 33 ont été définis comme traitant de pratique pharmaceutique. Un total de 24 (73 %) journaux mentionnaient suivre la politique de l’ICMJE, 14 (42 %) demandaient aux auteurs de remplir un formulaire de déclaration d’intérêts concurrents au moment de la soumission de l’article, 17 (52 %) présentaient une définition de la qualité d’auteur et 5 (15 %) demandaient de détailler les contributions de chaque auteur. Une grille de 40 critères a été élaborée pour définir l’attribution du statut d’auteur.
Conclusion :
Moins de la moitié des journaux demandait aux auteurs de transmettre un formulaire de déclaration des intérêts concurrents au moment de la soumission d’un article et seulement la moitié des journaux avait donné une définition de la qualité d’auteur. La publication scientifique de travaux sur les pratiques pharmaceutiques n’est pas à l’abri des manques de transparence liés à la publication. L’utilisation d’une grille décrivant la contribution de chaque auteur et la publication en ligne des travaux peuvent contribuer à limiter ces risques.
PMCID: PMC4071080  PMID: 24970938
publication scientifique; pratique pharmaceutique; auteur; intérêts concurrents; scientific publication; pharmacy practice; author; competing interests
15.  Stability of Epinephrine at Standard Concentrations 
Background
To minimize medication errors, standard concentrations are recommended for medications intended for continuous infusion in pediatric patients. Premixing of epinephrine (commonly used to manage septic shock in children) would improve timeliness, safety, and cost-effectiveness. However, information about the stability of epinephrine at standard concentrations is limited.
Objectives:
To evaluate the stability of epinephrine in 5% dextrose in water at standard concentrations and to extend its expiration date after storage in infusion bags at 4°C and 25°C for up to 30 days.
Methods:
A total of 6 infusion bags were prepared with 200 mL of epinephrine solution, 2 bags for each of 3 standard concentrations (25, 50, and 100 μg/mL). Three bags (one for each concentration) were stored under refrigeration (4°C), and the remaining 3 bags were stored at room temperature (25°C). Physical characteristics (including pH, colour, and presence of precipitate) were evaluated daily for the first 14 days and every 1 to 5 days thereafter until day 30. Three 1.5-mL samples were collected from each bag immediately after preparation (time 0), every 24 h (at 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, 96 h, etc.) for the first 14 days, and every 1 to 5 days thereafter until day 30. Each sample was analyzed by stability-indicating high-performance liquid chromatography. A solution was considered stable if it maintained at least 90% of its initial concentration.
Results:
No notable changes in pH, colour, or precipitation were observed in any of the solutions after storage at 4°C or 25°C for up to 30 days. All formulations maintained more than 95% of the initial epinephrine concentration on day 30. In addition, the calculated lower limit of the 95% confidence interval indicated that 93% or more of the initial concentration remained on day 30.
Conclusions:
Preparations of epinephrine were stable for up to 30 days, with or without refrigeration. Because stability alone does not guarantee bioavailability or efficacy of a drug, future clinical studies are recommended to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these formulations.
PMCID: PMC4071081  PMID: 24970939
epinephrine; standard concentration; stability; épinéphrine; concentration standard; stabilité
16.  Identifying Barriers to Medication Discharge Counselling by Pharmacists 
Background
Medication errors may occur more frequently at discharge, making discharge counselling a vital facet of medication reconciliation. Discharge counselling is a recognized patient safety initiative for which pharmacists have appropriate expertise, but data are lacking about the barriers to provision of this service to adult inpatients by pharmacists.
Objectives:
To determine the proportion of eligible patients who received discharge counselling, to quantify perceived barriers preventing pharmacists from performing discharge counselling, and to determine the relative frequency of barriers and associated time expenditures.
Methods:
In this prospective study, 8 pharmacists working in general medicine, medical oncology, or nephrology wards of an acute care hospital completed a survey for each of the first 50 patients eligible for discharge counselling on their respective wards from June 2010 to February 2011. Patients discharged to another facility (rehabilitation, palliative care, or long-term care), those with hospital stay less than 48 h before discharge, and those whose medications were unchanged from hospital admission were ineligible.
Results:
Discharge counselling was performed for 116 (29%) of the 403 eligible patients and involved a median preparation time of 25 min and median counselling time of 15 min per patient. At least one documented barrier to discharge counselling existed for 295 (73%) of the patients. Several barriers to discharge counselling occurred significantly more frequently on the general medicine and oncology wards than on the nephrology ward (p < 0.05). The most common barrier was failure to notify the pharmacist about impending patient discharge (130/313 [41%]). Time constraints existed for 130 (32%) of the patients, the most common related to clarification of prescriptions (96 [24%]), creation of a medication list (69 [17%]), and faxing of prescriptions (64 [16%]).
Conclusion:
This study generated objective data about the barriers to and time constraints associated with medication discharge counselling by pharmacists. These findings should raise awareness of the challenges faced by pharmacists in busy hospital positions and may support avenues of change for their hospital discharge counselling programs.
PMCID: PMC4071082  PMID: 24970940
barriers to discharge counselling; obstacles à l’offre de conseils au moment du congé
17.  Time to Administration of Antibiotics among Inpatients with Severe Sepsis or Septic Shock 
Background
Current evidence suggests that administration of appropriate antibiotic therapy within 1 h after the onset of hypotension significantly improves mortality rates among patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.
Objectives:
To determine the interval from recognition of severe sepsis or septic shock in inpatients to initial administration of antibiotic and to assess institutional compliance with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign’s recommendation for early antibiotic therapy.
Methods:
A 6-month retrospective chart analysis was conducted to determine the interval from documented onset of hypotension to initial administration of antibiotic for patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Patients who were admitted to a general medicine ward, a surgery ward, or the intensive care unit (ICU) of a 475-bed university-affiliated hospital and who met the criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock were eligible for inclusion. Patients who received antibiotics before meeting the criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock were excluded.
Results:
Charts for 100 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock were reviewed. The mean age was 69.0 years (standard deviation 18.7 years), and 56% were men. The median interval from onset of severe sepsis or septic shock to administration of antibiotic was 4.00 h (interquartile range [IQR] 1.80–6.45 h). The median interval from the time a physician ordered an antibiotic to administration of the drug was 1.28 h (IQR 0.57–3.05 h). The interval between ordering and administration differed significantly for patients on the wards (5.67 h), those with onset in the ICU (4.00 h), and those with onset in the emergency department (3.28 h) (p = 0.039). The overall survival rate was 56%.
Conclusion:
At the study hospital, the interval from onset of severe sepsis or septic shock to initial administration of antibiotic to inpatients exceeded the 1-h period recommended by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. These results will be used as a baseline for future quality assurance and improvement initiatives aimed at minimizing the time to antibiotic administration for this group of patients, who are at high risk of death.
PMCID: PMC4071083  PMID: 24970941
antibiotics; severe sepsis; septic shock; timing; antibiotiques; sepsis sévère; choc septique; rapidité d’intervention
18.  Feasibility of ASsisTed WARfarin Dosing by Clinical Pharmacy Support Assistants (FAST-WARD Study) 
Background:
Pharmacy-managed warfarin dosing has been established at Burnaby Hospital, in Burnaby, British Columbia, for over 10 years. With increases in the number and acuity of patients enrolled, it has become challenging to maintain a successful anticoagulation program. The clinical pharmacy support assistant (CPSA) program was initiated to support the provision of clinical pharmacy services. At the time of the study, Burnaby Hospital had 2 CPSAs. It was anticipated that the pharmacy-managed inpatient warfarin dosing service might benefit from support through the CPSA program to maintain a consistent level of delivery.
Objective:
To examine the feasibility of CPSAs supporting the pharmacy-managed inpatient warfarin dosing service at Burnaby Hospital. Feasibility was based on 4 key parameters: knowledge base, accuracy of data collection, dosage recommendations, and time spent on the process.
Methods:
An observational, prospective pilot study was conducted over 3 months. The CPSAs were given appropriate education and training, and their performance was assessed to determine the feasibility of CPSA-assisted warfarin dosing. The CPSAs had to achieve a priori target scores for each of the 4 parameters in order for CPSA-assisted warfarin dosing to be considered feasible.
Results:
After the didactic sections, both CPSAs answered all review questions correctly. The accuracy of data collection (based on 60 patient encounters) was 98.3%. The warfarin regimens recommended by the CPSAs were similar to those recommended by the clinical pharmacists, with doses differing by a mean of 0.46 mg. For 39 (65%) of the 60 patient encounters, the dosing recommendations of CPSAs and clinical pharmacists were identical. The average time spent per patient encounter was 10.5 min.
Conclusion:
With appropriate training and education, it is feasible for CPSAs to support the pharmacy-managed inpatient warfarin dosing program at Burnaby Hospital.
PMCID: PMC4071084  PMID: 24970942
warfarin; clinical pharmacy support assistant; anticoagulation; pharmacy practice; warfarine; assistant au soutien de la pharmacie clinique; anticoagulothérapie; pratique pharmaceutique
23.  One Good Note 
PMCID: PMC4071089  PMID: 24970947
24.  Cultiver ses relations 
PMCID: PMC4071090  PMID: 24970948
25.  Refining Relationships 
PMCID: PMC4071091  PMID: 24970949

Results 1-25 (590)