Interventions performed by New Zealand community pharmacists while dispensing prescription medications
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Objective: To investigate the number and type of interventions performed by New Zealand community pharmacists when dispensing new prescriptions. Method: All community pharmacies in Dunedin, New Zealand (29) were asked to use a tally system to record the types of interventions performed, the time taken and the number of prescription items processed per day. Data was collected for one full week for 20 pharmacies. Results: In total 24,059 prescription items were dispensed by the 20 pharmacies over one week. There were 1,551 separate interventions recorded with a recorded time of 1,684 min. These interventions occurred at a rate of 64 interventions per 1,000 prescription items. Of recorded interventions, bureaucratic and generic substitution problems accounted for 81%. These combined interventions occurred at a rate of 52 per 1,000 prescription items and totalled 50% of the time spent on prescription interventions. Whilst clinical interventions were recorded at a rate of 13 per 1,000 items, they accounted for the remaining 50% of time spent. Conclusion: Half of the time spent by community pharmacists in Dunedin, New Zealand on prescription interventions consists of correcting bureaucratic and legal issues, limiting the time pharmacists can spend on clinical services.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy Dispensing New Zealand Prescribing errors Prescription interventions
Thank you to all the pharmacies that participated in this study.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.
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