Background Paediatric drug therapy in solid organ transplants is complex and demanding. Lack of patient medication and counselling material written in Finnish led to a situation where the quality of the drug information to patients and their families was very heterogeneous depending on the healthcare professionals providing it.
Purpose The purpose of this project was to standardise the content and quality of patient medication counselling by creating a written counselling material and a patient guide for paediatric solid organ transplant recipients. Furthermore, we wanted to document the tacit medication counselling knowledge of the healthcare professionals working in the children’s solid organ transplant ward. We also wanted to demonstrate how clinical pharmacists can support the multiprofessional team and patients, and thus, promote medication safety.
Material and methods Healthcare professionals (nurses, physicians, pharmacists) providing medication counselling were observed ascedrtaining the current situation with best practices and shortcomings. A summary of the observations was used as a basis of written medication counselling material. Clinical pharmacist experience in the medication counselling of this therapeutic area and drug information databases were used to complement the information gathered with the observations.
Results The need for a practical and uniform guide for medications most commonly used with paediatric organ transplant patients was underlined with the observations. Due to the results of the observations and the created written counselling material, the further development of the medication counselling process was taken into focus on the ward. The role of the clinical pharmacist was modified by removing tasks concerning drug preparation and logistics. New tasks included more patient counselling, participation in the medical rounds, analysing medication errors, and creating and updating instructions and guidelines for drug therapies.
Conclusions The written medication counselling material and patient guide for paediatric organ transplant recipients helps both the staff and families to understand the use, goals and special considerations of the drug therapy. The use of written counselling material standardises the content and the quality of medication counselling given by the different healthcare professionals.
Acknowledgements We would like to thank the doctors and nurses working in the paediatric transplant ward for all their help and support during this project.
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