A cross-sectional evaluation of community pharmacists’ perceptions of intermediate care and medicines management across the healthcare interface

Anna Millar, Carmel Hughes, Maria Devlin, Cristin Ryan

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Abstract

Background Despite the importance placed on the concept of the multidisciplinary team in relation to intermediate care (IC), little is known about community pharmacists’ (CPs) involvement. 
Objective To determine CPs’ awareness of and involvement with IC services, perceptions of the transfer of patients’ medication information between healthcare settings and views of the development of a CP–IC service. 
Setting Community pharmacies in Northern Ireland. 
Methods A postal questionnaire, informed by previous qualitative work was developed and piloted. 
Main outcome measure CPs’ awareness of and involvement with IC. Results The response rate was 35.3 % (190/539). Under half (47.4 %) of CPs ‘agreed/strongly agreed’ that they understood the term ‘intermediate care’. Three quarters of respondents were either not involved or unsure if they were involved with providing services to IC. A small minority (1.2 %) of CPs reported that they received communication regarding medication changes made in hospital or IC settings ‘all of the time’. Only 9.5 and 0.5 % of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that communication from hospital and IC, respectively, was sufficiently detailed. In total, 155 (81.6 %) CPs indicated that they would like to have greater involvement with IC services. ‘Current workload’ was ranked as the most important barrier to service development.
Conclusion It was revealed that CPs had little awareness of, or involvement with, IC. Communication of information relating to patients’ medicines between settings was perceived as insufficient, especially between IC and community pharmacy settings. CPs demonstrated willingness to be involved with IC and services aimed at bridging the communication gap between healthcare settings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2016

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