AIMS: To explore drug related problems a community pharmacist encounters when a patient is discharged from hospital. The study also investigates which information from the hospital reaches the community pharmacy.

METHODS: A validated survey was presented, by community pharmacists, to patients or their family after hospital discharge, between the 1st of December 2007 and the 29th of February 2008. The survey contained questions on 4 items: patient characteristics--discharge medication--information received from the hospital--drug related problems and pharmacists interventions. Analyses were done with SPSS 16.0.

MAIN RESULTS: 82 community pharmacists participated. 261 patients were included. Only 25% of the patients collected their medication from the pharmacy themselves. On discharge, patients on average received two additional drugs, compared to the pre-hospital situation. 69% received a medication chart, but less than half of them brought this chart along when visiting the pharmacy. Only 9% got computer-generated prescriptions from the hospital and <3% received a letter of referral addressed to their pharmacist. In 33% of the cases the pharmacists noticed one or more problems concerning the medication prescribed after hospital discharge. The chance to detect a problem increased significantly when the chart was brought to the pharmacy (p=0.033). In case of observed problems, the community pharmacist succeeded to reach the treating specialist by phone in less than one third of those cases.

CONCLUSION: The results foster the discussion on the need for a better seamless care and the role clinical and community pharmacists could play in this care model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal de Pharmacie de Belgique
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

    Research areas

  • drug related problems, pharmacists

ID: 2048841