Background An increased influx of patients and limited access to specialised healthcare due to insufficient medical staff in ophthalmology has been reported for more than a decade. For this reason, our pharmacy services introduced clinical pharmacists as alternative healthcare providers for routine patient visits in this setting.
Aim The aim of this study was to allow ophthalmology medical staff to focus on more important patient needs and also to explore the potential of engaging clinical pharmacists in the ophthalmology clinic.
Method The study assessed the potential impact of several problems on patients with eye disorders who need to visit ophthalmologists. One of these problems is the supply of chronic medications. Step-by-step protocols for 65 of the most frequently prescribed ophthalmic drugs were developed to guide clinical pharmacists in decision-making, and a refill clinic was established.
Results Over a period of 15 months, the refill clinic was responsible for reviewing 8572 medical records with an average review time of 5.5 min per chart. Based on an average 8 h working day, approximately 98 days per 15 months (about 23%) were saved, which could be used by clinicians for patients in greater need of their immediate expertise. The rate of pharmacist chart intervention was 16.3%.
Conclusions This experiment was very successful in dispensing ophthalmic drugs safely and saving patient and clinician time. I recommend that it is expanded to include additional and advanced clinical specialties.
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