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Clinical pharmacy interventions in an Austrian hospital: a report highlights the need for the implementation of clinical pharmacy services
  1. Sonja Guntschnig1,2,
  2. Aaron Courtenay2,
  3. Ahmed Abuelhana3,
  4. Michael G Scott2,4
  1. 1Tauernklinikum Standort Zell am See, Zell am See, Austria
  2. 2School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ulster University, Coleraine, UK
  3. 3School of Pharmacy, University of Ulster Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, Coleraine, UK
  4. 4Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre, Antrim, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sonja Guntschnig, Tauernklinikum Standort Zell am See, Zell am See, 5700, Austria; sonja.guntschnig{at}


Background Clinical pharmacy services face challenges in Austria due to limited implementation and acceptance, outdated legislation and a lack of guidelines and training, despite the evidence from global studies of the positive impact of clinical pharmacists on patient care.

Objectives First, to identify the necessary types of clinical pharmacy interventions required at a 360-bed hospital located in Austria. Second, to evaluate the extent to which physicians accept the suggestions made by clinical pharmacists.

Methods Over a period of 27 months, a clinical pharmacist made a series of interventions, which were evaluated using a six-point clinical significance scale. To determine the inter-rater reliability, a subset of 25 interventions was assessed for their clinical significance by four independent internal medicine physicians.

Results A total of 1064 interventions were made by the pharmacist. Clinical pharmacy input was deemed necessary for 986 out of 1364 (72.3%) patients, with an average of 1.08 interventions per patient. The prompt acceptance rate of these interventions by physicians was 83.5% (888/1064), while 12.9% (137/1064) were considered by physicians but not immediately acted upon. The average clinical significance intervention rating was 2.15. The inter-rater reliability agreement between the four MDs and between the four MDs and the pharmacist was classified as 'good' to 'moderate'.

Conclusion This study in a secondary care Austrian hospital demonstrates the requirement for clinical pharmacy services, which are highly valued by other healthcare professionals. The clinical pharmacist is a key member of the multidisciplinary ward team, playing a vital role in reducing drug-related problems and enhancing patient safety. This work should now be scaled and tested in other Austrian hospitals.

  • Clinical Competence
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Safety

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Collected data are with the main author and can be made available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Collected data are with the main author and can be made available upon reasonable request.

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