Objective The collaboration between doctors and clinical pharmacists is a key factor in the provision of drug therapy and the continuity of patient care. The aim of this study was to explore the views of hospital doctors on the clinical role of pharmacists, barriers to interaction with them and their expectations of them.
Methods A self-administered survey was conducted among a representative sample of doctors (n=400) recruited in hospitals in the Madinah region of Saudi Arabia; 270 surveys were returned, yielding a 67.5% response rate.
Key findings Most doctors knew about clinical pharmacy (85.19%), but only 42.96% of them were aware of the existence of clinical pharmacy services in their hospital. Nearly three-quarters of doctors (74.07%) were willing to collaborate with a clinical pharmacist despite existing barriers that hinder interprofessional collaboration. Approximately 67.78% of the doctors strongly agreed or agreed that a clinical pharmacist was a reliable source of drug information. The most common queries from doctors to pharmacists were about drug alternatives (46.29%), drug interactions (39.26%), drug availability (37.77%), side effects (34.81%), drug dosage (26.29%), drug indications (24.81%), drug costs (21.48%) or other (7.41%). Only 19.63% of respondents would always accept a pharmacist's modification to a prescription. Most of the doctors (70%) expected the clinical pharmacist to advise them on rational use of drugs, to resolve drug-related problems and to counsel patients.
Conclusions Doctors widely accept that clinical pharmacists can make a great contribution to the provision of drug therapy. However, strong interprofessional collaboration between doctors and clinical pharmacists is needed to optimise patient care.
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