Background Surgical clinical pharmacists improve delivery and quality of pharmacotherapy while reducing medicine expenditure.1 Surgical clinical pharmacy services (CPSs) are not provided at Mater Dei Hospital (MDH), Malta. Identifying the demand for such services may support their introduction.
Purpose The aim of this study was to explore and gain consensus on the desired function of surgical CPSs at MDH.
Materials and methods A literature search yielded 23 publications from which 48 surgical CPSs (e.g. ward round participation, medicine reconciliation) were extracted, incorporated into a questionnaire (validated for clarity and comprehensiveness by 4 healthcare professionals) and proposed to an expert panel in an online Delphi study (70% consensus). All 112 nurses and doctors from MDH general surgical wards were invited. Participants expressed their level of agreement (anonymously to each-other) to statements on CPSs identified in literature (Round 1) or by Round 1 panellists (Round 2) and answered 1 open-ended question. This was done to generate a consensus on the surgical clinical pharmacist’s role and formulate recommendations for surgical CPS provision at MDH, an 800-bedded acute general hospital.
Results Round 1- 26.8% response (n = 30, 16Nurses:14Doctors). All 48 CPSs reached consensus; 12 reached 100%, only 4 <90%. Disagreement with the need for CPSs was expressed 12 times (for CPSs involving glycaemic control, VTE management, antibiotic therapy) while one participant strongly disagreed with pharmacists monitoring blood glucose. Using content analysis, Round 1 open-ended question responses yielded 8 CPS statements which were proposed in Round 2- 27.7% response (n = 31, 17Nurses:14Doctors, 6 being Round1 non-responders). All 8 reached consensus; 6 reached 100%, none <90%.
Conclusions Consensus was met on all surgical CPSs with participants agreeing to wanting these services at MDH. The demand for surgical CPSs is clear but given economic limitations in healthcare, further research to validate the link between this demand and the actual need and prioritisation of CPSs is suggested.
Morris J, Savage A, Armstrong D. Evaluation of a team-based clinical service for surgical inpatients. Clinical Pharmacist 2009;1:pp. 287-8
Conflict of Interest: Ownership – Pentaferte.
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