Background As clinical pharmacy develops pharmacists are becoming more specialised. The international model is that specialist pharmacists have their own caseload, working with particular clinics or wards according to geographical location.
Purpose To examine an alternative model of hospital clinical services that allows a specialist pharmacist to see all patients admitted taking medicines for mental health conditions.
Material and methods A real-time email was sent to the specialist pharmacist every time a medicine listed in BNF chapters 4.2 and 4.11; [antipsychotic and antimanic drugs, and drugs for dementia] was dispensed. Ward pharmacy teams also notified the pharmacist of a patient’s admission directly by pager. The specialist pharmacist then conducted a clinical pharmacy review. Data were recorded in line with national [Caldicott] ethical guidelines.
Results During the study period (17/09/2012–28/10/2013) the specialist pharmacist received 688 alerts concerning 385 patients and 426 hospital admissions. The email system generated most alerts [630 (91%)]. 11% (68) alerts in 27 patients were not received due to holiday and illness. Of the alerts received 81% (291) of patients were successfully reviewed. Reasons for non-review were the patient had already been discharged, was an outpatient or on a ward that was closed due to an outbreak of norovirus.
Conclusion We have demonstrated the feasibility of an alternative model for clinical pharmacy services which targets pharmaceutical services according to clinical need rather than hospital geographic location. Although the model was demonstrated in mental health, we feel that it could have wider clinical use to target specialist pharmacist reviews when any high-risk medicine is prescribed.
References and/or Acknowledgements No conflict of interest.