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Patient Safety Culture in Handling Prescriptions and Interprofessional Collaboration Practices Amongst Community Pharmacists: An Investigative Simulated Patient Study from the United Arab Emirates

Published in Dovepress
Volume: 13
Pages: 3201 - 3209

Background: Community pharmacists are in a unique position to identify drug therapy-related problems (DTRPs) in prescriptions and mitigate them by communicating with prescriber. This study assessed the ability of community pharmacists (CPs) to identify DTRPs in prescriptions, the level of interprofessional collaboration among physician and CPs in mitigating the identified DTRPs, and the existing safety culture practices among CPs.
Methods: Trained simulated patients (SPs), five final-year BSc Pharm female students, visited conveniently selected community pharmacies (n = 50) in Ajman emirate of the United Arab Emirates, with dummy prescriptions containing DTRPs (total 50 prescriptions with five different types of DTRPs categorized per the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe Version 8) and assessed the DTRP-identifying ability of the CPs. SPs also observed the steps taken by the CPs to mitigate identified DTRPs and existing (if any) collaborative practices between CPs and physician. SPs documented their observations in a checklist immediately after leaving the pharmacy premises, which served as the data source. Statistical analyses were performed with chi-square at alpha = 0.05.
Results: Of the 50 respondents, 44% (n = 22) were able to identify the DTRPs. DTRP identification by pharmacists was associated with labeling [chi-square = 7.879, p value = 0.019], reconciliation [chi-square = 10.359, p value = 0.001], counseling standard [chi-square = 19.09, p = 0.000] and physician visit suggestion [chi-square = 31.15, p = 0.000]. The labeling standards for prescriptions with DTRPs were “low” in five (50%), “average“ in three (30%) and “good” in two (20%) of the cases with wrong dose. Average counseling time of the CPs was 80.38 ± 71.61 seconds. The counseling standard had no significant association with counseling time [chi-square = 34.79, p = 0.250] and use of drug information sources [chi-square = 2.86, p = 0.243]. Average time spent in dispensing is 74.4 ± 73.05 seconds. None (n = 0) of the CPs communicated with the physician, and only five out of 50 (10%) of CPs checked any DI sources. However, in 19 (38%) cases, the CPs recommended the SPs to consult their physician prior to taking the medications.
Conclusion: CPs were generally able to identify DTRPs and mitigate DTRPs by recommending physician consultation. Nevertheless, there were no professional collaborations between the SPs and physicians. The dispensing and counseling standards were not appreciable.

About the journal
JournalRisk Management and Healthcare Policy
Open AccessNo
Authors (3)