Background In oncology hospitals and in medium sized hospitals, a nutritional service is seldom available. Parenteral nutrition (PN) is often prescribed by physicians with little experience and without the intervention of an expert. As stated in a previous abstract, many prescriptions are not fully adherent to patient conditions. In these situations, the expertise of a pharmacist may play a role, even in the prescription phase. In order to facilitate the interaction between pharmacists and physicians, from May 2016, the pharmacy guaranteed the daily presence of a pharmacist in the intensive care unit (ICU) where nutritional management is more challenging because of the clinical setting.
Purpose The aim of this work was to evaluate physicians’ perceptions of pharmacists’ interventions on the evaluation of nutritional needs and the enhancement of prescriber skills in an ICU setting.
Material and methods After 2 months of daily interaction, an anonymised satisfaction questionnaire was given to all ICU physicians. The questionnaire consisted of five questions, the first one of which was to verify if the physician had had the opportunity to prescribe PN with the pharmacist. Subsequent questions were to check for opinions related to the interaction experience and the effectiveness/utility of this multidisciplinary approach. An opportunity was given to provide open comments and suggestions.
Results In the observed period, 71 of 73 PN bags were prescribed on the advice of a pharmacist. 54% of all ICU physicians replied to the questionnaire; 100% of physicians who prescribed one or more PN answered the questionnaire. All physicians rated the experience as satisfactory, 70% considered the pharmacists’ interventions as ‘useful’, while 30% considered it ‘indispensable’. 90% of physicians argued that collaboration had enriched their knowledge, while 10% felt the need for further and deeper collaboration. All respondents believed that cooperation promoted appropriate prescribing and 20% emphasised the need for a multidisciplinary approach in open comments.
Conclusion The restricted observation time does not allow us to assess clinical outcomes or other efficacy indicators. However, through administration of the questionnaire, it is possible to conclude that the physician–pharmacist collaboration had a positive impact on both the physicians’ perceptions of prescriptive appropriateness and on professional enrichment.
References and/or acknowledgements Special thanks to Sarah Jayne Liptrott.
No conflict of interest
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