Background The register and assessment of queries received in a centralised health service (CHS) from hospital pharmacists and other professionals allow knowledge of high demand areas and help improve communication leading to resource optimisation.
Purpose To assess all queries asked of hospital pharmacy departments (HPD) in the hospital pharmacy area of a CHS to improve communication strategies.
Material and methods A prospective study about queries asked of HPD from January to September 2015 was carried out in a CHS. CHS pharmacists developed a multiple user register in a web setting in 2015. The information gathered from each query was: date, receiver pharmacist, communication medium (phone/email), professional category (chief/pharmacist/other), hospital, query reason (drug funding/pharmacy management indicators/drug purchase/centralised purchase procedures/regional drug database/hepatitis C register/other), involved drug (if any) and a brief description. Information related to the queries resolution was also compiled: required sources, state (solved/unresolved), communication medium and answer date. The register system exports compiled information to a worksheet. All queries were registered by CHS pharmacists in charge of the hospital pharmacy area.
Results 300 queries were received in 9 months (33.3 queries/month). Email was used in 68% of all queries, while the telephone was used in 32%. The main consultants were hospital pharmacists (60.7%) followed by chiefs of pharmacy (30%) and other professionals (physicians or hospital managers (9.3%)). The reasons for the query were hepatitis C register (27.7%), pharmacy management indicators (27.7%), new drugs inclusion in the regional drug database (19.3%), drug purchase (11%), drug funding (7%), centralised purchase procedures (3.3%) and other (4%). Mainly used resources were regional information system (31.3%), ‘nomenclature’ national drug database (28.3%) and indicators manual (11%). 96.3% of all queries were resolved on the spot while 3.7% were referred to other areas of the CHS. Most queries were answered by mail (76%) in an average of 1.4 days. 24% of queries made by phone were all resolved at the time.
The register has permitted clarification of difficult points in the indicators manual, standardised drug funding related answers and provided drug funding/price information in the intranet.
Conclusion This tool has permitted a systematic evaluation of accepted queries and replies, providing statistical activity measures and quick answers for repeated queries as well as improving transmitted information.
No conflict of interest.
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