Patient-pharmacist communication during a post-discharge pharmacist home visit

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, May 2018

Background With the shifting role of community pharmacists towards patient education and counselling, they are well-positioned to conduct a post-discharge home visit which could prevent or solve drug-related problems. Gaining insight into the communication during these home visits could be valuable for optimizing and consequently improving patient safety at readmission to primary care. Objective To assess patient-pharmacist communication during a post-discharge home visit. Setting The homes of patients recently discharged from a single general hospital in the Netherlands. Methods Pharmacists used a semi-structured protocol to guide the consultations and audiorecorded them. Sixty audio-recordings were included for a qualitative analysis in this study with the help of NVivo version 11 software. Main outcome measure (1) Initiator and topics under discussion. (2) Frequency of discussion of topics as per coded in themes and subthemes. Results Issues regarding the administration and use of medication, e.g. regimen and actual drug-taking issues, knowledge gaps regarding their medication and patients’ health were discussed most frequently, followed by medication logistics and medication effectiveness. Patients’ beliefs about their medication and adherence were less frequently discussed. The pharmacist initiated the majority of these topics. Additional non-protocolled topics were scarce and consisted mainly of patient-initiated dissatisfaction regarding the community pharmacy or health insurers. Conclusion Community pharmacists most frequently initiated practical issues, but explored patients’ medication beliefs less adequately. Discussing these beliefs might be easier by increasing patient engagement in the consultation and providing training programs for pharmacists.

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Patient-pharmacist communication during a post-discharge pharmacist home visit

Background With the shifting role of community pharmacists towards patient education and counselling, they are well-positioned to conduct a post-discharge home visit which could prevent or solve drug-related problems. Gaining insight into the communication during these home visits could be valuable for optimizing and consequently improving patient safety at readmission to primary care. Objective To assess patient-pharmacist communication during a post-discharge home visit. Setting The homes of patients recently discharged from a single general hospital in the Netherlands. Methods Pharmacists used a semi-structured protocol to guide the consultations and audiorecorded them. Sixty audio-recordings were included for a qualitative analysis in this study with the help of NVivo version 11 software. Main outcome measure (1) Initiator and topics under discussion. (2) Frequency of discussion of topics as per coded in themes and subthemes. Results Issues regarding the administration and use of medication, e.g. regimen and actual drug-taking issues, knowledge gaps regarding their medication and patients’ health were discussed most frequently, followed by medication logistics and medication effectiveness. Patients’ beliefs about their medication and adherence were less frequently discussed. The pharmacist initiated the majority of these topics. Additional non-protocolled topics were scarce and consisted mainly of patient-initiated dissatisfaction regarding the community pharmacy or health insurers. Conclusion Community pharmacists most frequently initiated practical issues, but explored patients’ medication beliefs less adequately. Discussing these beliefs might be easier by increasing patient engagement in the consultation and providing training programs for pharmacists.


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Hendrik T. Ensing, Marcia Vervloet, Ad A. van Dooren, Marcel L. Bouvy, Ellen S. Koster. Patient-pharmacist communication during a post-discharge pharmacist home visit, International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 2018, 712-720, DOI: 10.1007/s11096-018-0639-3