Author(s): Melnyk PS, Shevchuk YM, Remillard AJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of a drug information service on patient outcomes. DESIGN: Prospective evaluation of patient-specific drug information requests. SETTING: Healthcare professional and consumer drug information service located at a college of pharmacy. PARTICIPANTS: Consumers and healthcare professionals of the province. INTERVENTION: Patient-specific questions received by the drug information service were reviewed and evaluated for actual patient outcome, inquirers' opinion of impact of the service with respect to patient outcome, and for objectivity and timeliness of the response. An expert panel determined whether the responses and recommendations given by the service were appropriate, determined what impact the service had on the patient, and assessed the seriousness of the inquiry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Classification of patient outcome by objective and subjective data based on predetermined desired outcomes. RESULTS: Ninety-eight and 68 patient-specific requests were received from healthcare professionals and consumers, respectively. The panel concluded that 94.9\% of the healthcare requests and 98.5\% of the consumer requests were answered appropriately and that the majority of the requests involved potentially serious drug-related problems. The panel also determined that 46.8\% of the recommendations to healthcare professionals and 41.0\% of the recommendations to consumers resulted in positive patient outcomes. The majority of the positive outcomes involved the prevention of a disease or its symptoms (professional section) and the reduction or elimination of symptoms (consumer section). CONCLUSIONS: The drug information service not only met its objectives of providing drug information in an accurate, objective, and timely manner, but was also able to provide positive patient outcomes.
This article was published in Ann Pharmacother
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems