Background The involvement of a multidisciplinary team in the management of a patient’s transfer from hospital to hospital has been shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmissions. Hospital pharmacy discharge medicines review aims to improve patient compliance and comprehension. NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) are considering whether hospital pharmacists should be sent a copy of the discharge advice letter (DAL).
Purpose The study aimed to evaluate and quantify the views of the public on hospital pharmacist’s access to the patients’ DAL.
Material and methods A pre-piloted questionnaire was sent to a total of 4000 participants across the whole of Wales. The participants’ agreement was sought using a Likert scale, to share information related to hospital admission details, hospital discharge details, clinical information, medication information and recommendations. Sampling clusters were identified based on population size, and then categories were purposively assigned to local authorities to obtain a representative sample of the whole of Wales. Random sampling using Excel was used to select participants from the edited electoral roll. Quantitative data were analysed by SPSS 20 and qualitative free text comments were analysed via inductive thematic analysis.
Results 12.5% questionnaires were returned. The majority of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed to all types of hospital discharge information being shared with the hospital pharmacist to increase patient safety; 30% preferred this information to be shared electronically. Almost half of the public (49.7%) felt that consent should explicitly be provided for every hospital discharge. Five broad themes were identified, each containing a number of sub-themes. These included personal details, relationship with hospital pharmacy, sharing information with a hospital pharmacy, patient consent and opinions of hospital pharmacists having access to hospital discharge information. The study revealed a low usage of pharmacy services and further education about the role of the pharmacist should help to integrate the services with that of other health professionals.
Conclusion The results will be fed back to NWIS for review in the hope hospital pharmacists will gain access to DALs which would be expected to improve patient care and potentially save costs.
References and/or acknowledgements Katikireddi SV, Cloud GC. Planning a patient’s discharge from hospital. BMJ2008;337:a2694.
No conflict of interest
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