International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1483–1496 | Cite as

Hospital pharmacists seen through the eyes of physicians: qualitative semi-structured interviews

  • Clare BéchetEmail author
  • Renaud Pichon
  • André Giordan
  • Pascal Bonnabry
Research Article


Background Pharmacist–physician collaboration can lead to many positive outcomes. However, collaboration between healthcare providers is complex and rarely performed optimally. Objectives To study physician–pharmacist collaboration in hospital settings, from the physician’s point of view. Setting Eight regional non-teaching hospital facilities, within a local area of northwest Switzerland, supplied by an independent central pharmacy. Method Physicians were sampled using a maximal variation purposive method. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted and their content was recorded. Mind maps were made with the collected data. An inductive approach was used for the analysis. Main outcome measure Physicians’ main perceptions of hospital pharmacists. Results Twelve physicians and one medical student were interviewed (average interview length 37 min). Key opinions (n ≥ 7) include the following: physicians lack knowledge about hospital pharmacists’ roles, competences and activities. Physicians report a lack of presence and involvement of hospital pharmacists. Although physicians value hospital pharmacists’ complementary competences, they also point out a knowledge gap between them and that hospital pharmacists lack clinical competences. Some pharmaceutical activities (e.g. drug formulary management or participation in ward rounds) lead to significant drawbacks for physicians. Other pharmaceutical activities (e.g. teaching and supervision) are valued and sought for by physicians. Physicians report they take drug treatment decisions as they bear the legal responsibility. Conclusion The presence, visibility and implication of hospital pharmacists need to be improved, and physicians should be more aware of what they can offer them. Physicians’ expectations and needs should be taken further into consideration and new models of interaction should be developed.


Attitude of health personnel Hospital Interprofessional relations Medical staff Pharmacists Pharmacy service Physicians Qualitative research Switzerland 



The authors are grateful to physicians that took part in the study, and thank them for their valuable time and input.


This study was funded by the hospital pharmacy (PHNVB).

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hospital Pharmacy of Nord Vaudois and Broye RegionYverdon-les-BainsSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Geneva, University of LausanneGenevaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Didactic and Epistemology Science Laboratory (LDES)GenevaSwitzerland
  4. 4.PharmacyGeneva University Hospitals (HUG)GenevaSwitzerland

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