Background In our institution, pharmacists advise healthcare professionals facing parenteral drug compatibility issues by answering questions via a hotline. Actual implementation of the verbal recommendations and transmission of the information among the teams is not guaranteed. Indeed, the same questions may occur repeatedly.
Purpose To assess:
the implementation and transmission of the pharmacist’s recommendations in the ward
the impact of a written document providing an infusion regimen in addition to the verbal answer
the nurses’ perception of the transmitted information.
Materials and methods Randomised controlled study over 15 months (06/12–09/13). Hotline questions regarding parenteral drug compatibility were randomised in 2 groups: phone answer only (WITHOUT) versus phone answer plus a written structured document providing an infusion regimen (WITH). Consistency of the infusion regimen with the proposed one, information transmission in the nurse team (written document at bedside and/or nurse informed) and opinion about the received information were assessed at 24 h through a nurse interview at the bedside (standardised questionnaire, 5-step categorical scale, Fisher’s exact test).
Results 80 compatibility questions were included (37 WITHOUT, 37 WITH and 6 lost to follow-up). Infusion regimen was consistent with the recommendation in 63% of the cases (62.2% WITHOUT, 63.9% WITH, p > 0.05). Modification of the prescription was the main reason (53.8%) for not following the pharmacist’s recommendations. Information transmission was not significantly improved by the document (WITHOUT 60.0%, WITH 74.3%, p > 0.05). However, 25/36 (69.4%) nurses found the document excellent or very good and 30/35 (85.7%) sensed that it improved information transmission. Moreover, 29/37 (78.4%) nurses who didn’t receive the document would have found it helpful. As a whole, 66/74 (89.2%) healthcare professionals would like to have the information documented in the electronic patient record.
Conclusions The pharmacist’s recommendations on drug compatibility were applied and transmitted in two third of the cases by nurses, the major barrier being the rapid evolution of prescriptions. The impact of a written document on information transmission could not be determined; however this new tool was very well received by healthcare professionals. Implementation of information in the electronic patient record should be considered.
No conflict of interest.
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