Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Pharmacy Practice (Granada)]]> vol. 14 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of STAT medication ordering process in a community hospital</b>]]> Background: In most health care facilities, problems related to delays in STAT medication order processing time are of common concern. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate processing time for STAT orders at Kimball Medical Center. Methods: All STAT orders were reviewed to determine processing time; order processing time was also stratified by physician order entry (physician entered (PE) orders vs. non-physician entered (NPE) orders). Collected data included medication ordered, indication, time ordered, time verified by pharmacist, time sent from pharmacy, and time charted as given to the patient. Results: A total of 502 STAT orders were reviewed and 389 orders were included for analysis. Overall, median time was 29 minutes, IQR 16-63; p<0.0001.). The time needed to process NPE orders was significantly less than that needed for PE orders (median 27 vs. 34 minutes; p=0.026). In terms of NPE orders, the median total time required to process STAT orders for medications available in the Automated Dispensing Devices (ADM) was within 30 minutes, while that required to process orders for medications not available in the ADM was significantly greater than 30 minutes. For PE orders, the median total time required to process orders for medications available in the ADM (i.e., not requiring pharmacy involvement) was significantly greater than 30 minutes. [Median time = 34 minutes (p<0.001)]. Conclusion: We conclude that STAT order processing time may be improved by increasing the availability of medications in ADM, and pharmacy involvement in the verification process. <![CDATA[<b>Role of the pharmacist in parenteral nutrition therapy</b>: <b>challenges and opportunities to implement pharmaceutical care in Kuwait</b>]]> Background: Pharmacists can provide beneficial pharmaceutical care services to patients receiving Parenteral Nutrition (PN) therapy by working within Nutrition Support Teams (NSTs). Objective: This study was designed to explore pharmacists' role in PN therapy in hospitals of Kuwait, sources of PN-related information, opinions on NSTs, perceptions about the barriers to pharmaceutical care implementation and views on how to enhance their practices. Methods: Data were collected via face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the senior Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) pharmacists at all the hospitals which provide TPN preparation services (six governmental hospitals and one private hospital) in Kuwait. Descriptive statistics were used to describe pharmacists' demographic details and practice site characteristics. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: The pharmacists mainly performed technical tasks such as TPN compounding with minimal role in providing direct patient care. They used multiple different sources of TPN-related information to guide their practice. They reported positive and negative experiences with physicians depending on their practice environment. None of the hospitals had a functional NST. However, pharmacists expressed preference to work within NSTs due to the potential benefits of enhanced communication and knowledge exchange among practitioners and to improve service. Pharmacists perceived several barriers to providing pharmaceutical care including lack of reliable sources of TPN-related information, lack of a standard operating procedure for TPN across hospitals, insufficient staff, time constraints and poor communication between TPN pharmacists. To overcome these barriers, they recommended fostering pharmacists' education on TPN, establishing national standards for TPN practices, provision of pharmacy staff, development of NSTs, enhancing TPN pharmacists' communication and conducting TPN-research research. Conclusion: TPN pharmacists in Kuwait are confined to performing TPN manufacturing processes. There are promising avenues for future development of their role in patient care. This can be achieved by overcoming the barriers to pharmaceutical care practice and providing pharmacists with educational opportunities to equip them with the clinical competencies needed to practise as nutrition support pharmacists with patient-centred roles. <![CDATA[<b>Immunosuppressive serum levels in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation</b>: <b>pharmaceutical care contribution</b>]]> Background: Cyclosporine and tacrolimus are limited by a narrow therapeutic window. Maintaining immunosuppressive drugs at desired levels may be difficult. Pharmaceutical care emerges as a philosophy of practice that enhances medication use and leads to a better control of serum concentration. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the impact of pharmaceutical care in the maintaining of proper serum levels of immunosuppressive medications in patients who have undergone allo-HSCT. Methods: The study had a quasi-experimental design that included a comparison group. The service model used was pharmacotherapy follow-up, according to an adaptation of the Dader method. The pharmacist consultation was carried out at a day-hospital or at the outpatient hematology clinic as needed. The intervention group consisted of 22 patients seen by a clinical pharmacist. The control group consisted of 44 patients that received standard care. This study aims to evaluate the impact of pharmaceutical care on keeping patient serum levels of cyclosporine and tacrolimus within the desired range. Results: Control group displayed 65% of the proper serum levels of immunosuppressive agents. While In intervention group, the figure was 82% (p = 0.004). Conclusion: The role of the pharmacist in the multidisciplinary team may contribute to a greater success in attaining the patients' therapeutic targets with regard to the use of immunosuppressant. <![CDATA[<b>Redesigning pictographs for patients with low health literacy and establishing preliminary steps for delivery via smart phones</b>]]> Background: Pictographs (or pictograms) have been widely utilized to convey medication related messages and to address nonadherence among patients with low health literacy. Yet, patients do not always interpret the intended messages on commonly used pictographs correctly and there are questions how they may be delivered on mobile devices. Objective: Our objectives are to refine a set of pictographs to use as medication reminders and to establish preliminary steps for delivery via smart phones. Methods: Card sorting was used to identify existing pictographs that focus group members found "not easy" to understand. Participants then explored improvements to these pictographs while iterations were sketched in real-time by a graphic artist. Feedback was also solicited on how selected pictographs might be delivered via smart phones in a sequential reminder message. The study was conducted at a community learning center that provides literacy services to underserved populations in Seattle, WA. Participants aged 18 years and older who met the criteria for low health literacy using S-TOFHLA were recruited. Results: Among the 45 participants screened for health literacy, 29 were eligible and consented to participate. Across four focus group sessions, participants examined 91 commonly used pictographs, 20 of these were ultimately refined to improve comprehensibility using participatory design approaches. All participants in the fifth focus group owned and used cell phones and provided feedback on preferred sequencing of pictographs to represent medication messages. Conclusion: Low literacy adults found a substantial number of common medication label pictographs difficult to understand. Participative design processes helped generate new pictographs, as well as feedback on the sequencing of messages on cell phones, that may be evaluated in future research. <![CDATA[<b>Improving pediatric liquid medication labeling of the hospital information system in Malaysia</b>: <b>qualitative analysis of pharmacists' perceptions</b>]]> Background: Inadequacies of drug labeling have been frequently reported among Malaysian healthcare institutes, in which the Hospital Information System (HIS) is used. Objective: To identify potential areas to improve the existing labels used for pediatric liquid medications. Methods: This study was qualitative in nature, whereby focus group Discussions (FGDs), face-to-face interviews (FTFIs), and onsite observation were used for data collection. Pharmacists stationed at three units (outpatient, inpatient and clinical pharmacy) of a tertiary hospital were targeted. Both FGDs and FTFIs were facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide, video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were thematically analyzed using content analysis approach. Results: Thirteen pharmacists participated in FGDs, while five were approached for FTFIs. Data analysis resulted in four major themes: format of labels, presentation of medication instructions, insufficiency of information, and the need for external aids and education. Participants unanimously agreed on the need for enlarging font sizes of key information. Suggestions were made to use more specific instructions for administration times and pictograms to illustrate important directions. The absence of information about storage, stability and handling of liquid medications was also highlighted. While Discussion mainly focused on improving drug labeling, participants consistently stressed the need for an instruction sheet and pharmacist-based, one-to-one education regarding medication instructions. Conclusion: This study provides important insights into critical shortcomings in current labeling practice, underlying the need for developing a new label that incorporates a new format, additional information and pictograms for pediatric liquid medications. <![CDATA[<b>Patients' views on electronic patient information leaflets</b>]]> Background: Information in society and in health care is currently undergoing a transition from paper to digital formats, and the main source of information will probably be electronic in the future. Objective: To explore patients' use and perceptions of the patient information leaflet included in the medication package, and their attitude towards a transition to an electronic version. Methods: The data was collected during October to November 2014 among individuals in South-Eastern Sweden, using a questionnaire (n=406, response rate 78%) and interviews (n=15). Results: The questionnaire showed that the majority of the respondents (52%) occasionally read the patient information leaflet, 37% always read it, and 11% never read it. Almost half of the patients (41%) were positive towards reading the patient information leaflet electronically while 32% were hesitant and 26% neutral. A majority of the patients would request to get the patient information leaflet printed at the pharmacy if it was not included in the package. There were differences in attitude related to age and gender. The interviews showed that patients had mixed views on a transition to an electronic patient information leaflet. The patients perceived several positive aspects with an electronic patient information leaflet but were concerned about elderly patients. Conclusion: Although many were positive towards reading the patient information leaflet electronically, the majority prefer the patient information leaflet in paper form. Providing appropriate and useful eHealth services for patients to access the patient information leaflet electronically, along with education, could prepare patients for a transition to electronic patient information leaflet. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment and management of serotonin syndrome in a simulated patient study of Australian community pharmacies</b>]]> Background: The incidence of serotonin syndrome is increasing due to the widening use of serotonergic drugs. Identification of serotonin syndrome is challenging as the manifestations are diverse. Misdiagnosis can lead to delay in care and inappropriate treatment. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine if staff of community pharmacies in Australia could identify the symptoms of serotonin syndrome in simulated patients and recommend an appropriate course of action. Methods: Agents acting on behalf of a simulated patient were trained on a patient scenario that reflected possible serotonin syndrome due to an interaction between duloxetine and recently prescribed tramadol. They entered 148 community pharmacies in Australia to ask for advice about a 60 year old male simulated patient who was 'not feeling well'. The interaction was audio recorded and analysed for degree of access to the pharmacist, information gathered by pharmacy staff, management advice given and pharmacotherapy recommended. Results: The simulated patient's agent was consulted by a pharmacist in 94.0% (139/148) of cases. The potential for serotonin syndrome was identified by 35.1% (52/148) of pharmacies. Other suggested causes of the simulated patient's symptoms were viral (16.9%; 25/148) and cardiac (15.5%; 23/148). A total of 33.8% (50/148) of pharmacies recommended that the simulated patient should cease taking tramadol. This advice always came from the pharmacist. Immediate cessation of tramadol was advised by 94.2% (49/52) of pharmacists correctly identifying serotonin syndrome. The simulated patient was advised to seek urgent medical care in 14.2% (21/148) of cases and follow up with a doctor when possible in 68.2% (101/148) of cases. The majority of pharmacies (87.8%; 130/148) did not recommend non-prescription medicines. Conclusion: While not identifying the cause of the simulated patient's symptoms in the majority of cases, community pharmacies recommended appropriate action to minimise the health impact of serotonin syndrome by advising to cease tramadol and/or referring to a doctor and not recommending non-prescription medicines to treat symptoms. Raising pharmacists' awareness of the signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome, and the importance of taking a comprehensive medication history when assessing a set of symptoms, may help community pharmacies further reduce serotonin syndrome toxicity. <![CDATA[<b>Old age, high risk medication, polypharmacy</b>: <b>a 'trilogy' of risks in older patients with atrial fibrillation</b>]]> Background: The safety of pharmacotherapy in atrial fibrillation (AF) is compounded by a trilogy of risks old age, high-risk medications (e.g., antithrombotics, antiarrhythmics), polypharmacy due to multiple patient comorbidities. However, to date, scarce study has investigated the use of polypharmacy (including potentially inappropriate medication (PIM)) in AF patients, and how this may contribute to their overall risk of medication misadventure. Objectives: To review the extent of polypharmacy and PIM use in older patients (65 years or older) with AF. Methods: Information was extracted from a database characterising a cohort of older AF patients treated in general practice in New South Wales, Australia. Patient characteristics, number and types of drugs, the degree of PIM use were recorded. The predictors for the use of polypharmacy in older AF patients were identified. Results: Overall, 367 patients (mean age 77.8 years) were reviewed, among which 94.8% used 5 medications or more and over half used 10 medications or more. Cardiovascular agents were most commonly used (98.9%), followed by antithrombotics (90.7%). Among agents deemed PIMs, digoxin (30.2%) was the most frequently used, followed by benzodiazepines (19.6%), and sotalol (9.8%). AF patients using polypharmacy were more likely to have low bleeding risk (OR=10.97), representing those patients in whom high-risk antithrombotics are mostly indicated. Patients with major-polypharmacy (5-9 medications) are more likely to have obstructive pulmonary diseases (OR=2.32), upper gastrointestinal diseases (OR=2.02) and poor physical function (OR=1.04), but less likely to have cognitive impairment (OR=0.27). Conclusion: Polypharmacy affects oldest AF patients, comprising medications that are indicated for AF, yet regarded as PIMs. Patients with lower risk of bleeding, obstructive pulmonary diseases, upper gastrointestinal diseases and poor physical function are also at higher risk of using higher number of medications. This may lead to an increased risk for medication misadventure due to the concomitant use of polypharmacy and medications for AF. <![CDATA[<b>Consumer access to clozapine in Australia</b>: <b>how does this compare to New Zealand and the United Kingdom?</b>]]> Background: Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication used in treatment resistant schizophrenia. However, clozapine is associated with a significant adverse effect profile and extensive monitoring is required to optimise consumer safety. Traditionally, clozapine can only be prescribed by a psychiatrist and dispensed at a hospital or hospital affiliated pharmacy in Australia. These restrictions could result in significant treatment burden for consumers taking clozapine. Objective: To identify (1) the different models of supply that exist for people living in the community taking clozapine in Australia and compare to those in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and (2) explore how these supply models may impact on consumer burden from the perspective of professionals involved in the supply of clozapine. Method: Key informants were interviewed (n=8) from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom regarding how consumers, who lived in the community, accessed clozapine. Data were analysed and led to the development of four clozapine supply models. These four models were further validated by an online survey of a wider sample (n=30). Data were analysed thematically and via simple descriptive statistics. Results: Clozapine supply varied depending on location. A secondary care model was utilised in the United Kingdom compared to a community based (primary care) model in New Zealand; Australia utilised a mixture of both secondary and primary care. A key theme from all study participants was that community pharmacy should be utilised to dispense clozapine to consumers living in the community, provided adequate training and safeguards are in place. It was noted that the utilisation of community pharmacies could improve access and flexibility, thereby reducing treatment burden for these consumers. Conclusion: There are predominately two models for supply of clozapine to consumers living in the community in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. One model utilises secondary care facilities and the other community services. Community pharmacy is ideally placed to increase access to clozapine for consumers living in the community, provided appropriate training and support is given to pharmacists providing this professional service. <![CDATA[<b>Implementation and evaluation of a pharmacist-led hypertension management service in primary care</b>: <b>outcomes and methodological challenges</b>]]> Background: Suboptimal utilisation of pharmacotherapy, non-adherence to prescribed treatment, and a lack of monitoring all contribute to poor blood (BP) pressure control in patients with hypertension. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the implementation of a pharmacist-led hypertension management service in terms of processes, outcomes, and methodological challenges. Method: A prospective, controlled study was undertaken within the Australian primary care setting. Community pharmacists were recruited to one of three study groups: Group A (Control - usual care), Group B (Intervention), or Group C (Short Intervention). Pharmacists in Groups B and C delivered a service comprising screening and monitoring of BP, as well as addressing poor BP control through therapeutic adjustment and adherence strategies. Pharmacists in Group C delivered the shortened version of the service. Results: Significant changes to key outcome measures were observed in Group C: reduction in systolic and diastolic BPs at the 3-month visit (P<0.01 and P<0.01, respectively), improvement in medication adherence scores (P=0.01), and a slight improvement in quality of life (EQ-5D-3L Index) scores (P=0.91). There were no significant changes in Group B (the full intervention), and no differences in comparison to Group A (usual care). Pharmacists fed-back that patient recruitment was a key barrier to service implementation, highlighting the methodological implications of screening. Conclusion: A collaborative, pharmacist-led hypertension management service can help monitor BP, improve medication adherence, and optimise therapy in a step-wise approach. However, blood pressure screening can effect behaviour change in patients, presenting methodological challenges in the evaluation of services in this context. <![CDATA[<b>A qualitative study exploring medicines use pattern and practice among general public in Malaysia</b>]]> Objective: The objective of this study is to explore the pattern and practice of medicine use among the general public; and to explore the key factors influencing medicine use among medicine users. Methods: A qualitative approach using focus group Discussions was conducted to get in-depth information about medicines use pattern and practice from the general public. Adult people who reported using medicines at the time of study or in the previous month were approached. Two focus group Discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The obtained data were analysed using thematic content analysis. Results: This study found that there are some misunderstanding about the appropriate use of medicines. The majority of the participants reported that they were complying with their medication regimen. However, forgetting to take medicines was stated by 4 participants while 2 participants stopped taking medicines when they felt better. In addition, 10 participants reporting using medicines according to their own knowledge and past experience. Whereas 4 participants took medicines according to other informal resources such as family, friends or the media. Seven participants have experienced side effects with using medicines, 4 of them informed their doctor while 3 participants stopped taking medicines without informing their doctor. Conclusion: There was a misunderstanding about medicines use in terms of medication compliance, self-management of the illness and the resources of information about using medicines. Many efforts are still needed from health care professionals to provide sufficient information about medicines use in order to decrease the risk of inappropriate use of medicines and to achieve better therapeutic outcome.