Background HIV-positive ambulatory patients visit the Infectious Diseases Units of designated hospitals on a monthly basis in Greece. Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are prescribed by a doctor in each Unit and are dispensed by a hospital pharmacist. Ambulatory HIV patients in our hospital were following this schedule until October 2010. An intervention, which is assessed in this study, was implemented in November 2010, for this group of outpatients.
Purpose Assessment of the contribution of the collaboration between the Infectious Diseases Unit and the Pharmacy of the hospital, to improve the quality of health care services provided to ambulatory HIV patients.
Materials and methods HIV outpatients monitored by the Infectious Diseases Unit of the hospital and receiving ARV drugs from the hospital pharmacy, from October 25th to November 29th in the years 2010 (170 patients) and 2012 (245 patients) were included in this study. Prescription data that were collected from records in both departments and patient satisfaction data that were collected by direct interviews with the patients were analysed by SPSS. The presence and assistance of a Social Worker employed by the Infectious Diseases Unit but offering services in the hospital pharmacy, on a weekly basis, acted as a ‘link’ between the patients and the health professionals in both units, since November 2010.
Results In the 2012 study period, 71% of outpatients monitored by the Infectious Diseases Unit of the Hospital were eligible to receive ARV treatment. Of these outpatients, 72% visited the hospital pharmacy whereas for 28% of them drugs was delivered by post. These 245 outpatients waited for an average time of 1.3 min to be served, were served in an average time of 2 min and gave a satisfaction rating of 9.9 out of 10. Moreover, 40% of these outpatients requested additional information regarding their drugs (9.3%), administrative matters (10%) and other matters (24%). In the 2010 period, 170 of 270 outpatients (63%) visited the pharmacy and had to wait an average of 15 min, were served in approximately 3 min but had no time to either complain or ask further assistance and/or information.
Conclusions Seamless care to patients with chronic diseases demands the appropriate and prompt administration of treatment, through quality procedures, regardless of the lack of personnel and infrastructure, in the health care system. The collaboration of both departments improved the quality of health care services, to the benefit of personnel and patients. These preliminary data impel us to further query patient satisfaction with the healthcare services provided, through the construction and use of a questionnaire.
No conflict of interest.
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