Care of the stroke patient—communication between the community pharmacist and prescribers in the Republic of Ireland
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Objective This study sought to examine the perceptions that community pharmacists have of communication with prescribers in both primary and secondary care in Ireland, with respect to care of stroke patients. Setting Community pharmacies across Ireland, stratified into the four representative administrative regions. Method Survey using a structured postal questionnaire. Main outcome measure Perceptions of communication with prescribers based in primary and secondary care; pharmacy and pharmacy premises demographics. Results A response rate of 52% (n = 314) was achieved. Community pharmacists’ perceptions of information provision from secondary care were low, the majority (83%) never received any information from the hospital, although they would welcome it. Communication with hospital based prescribers was considered by most (93%) to be poor. The majority (greater than 75%) of respondents expressed a desire for greater information provision concerning a stroke patient’s medication and diagnostic information. Pharmacists’ perceptions of interaction with general practitioners were generally regarded as good (63%) although information provision in both directions between pharmacist and general practitioner could be improved. Conclusion The findings of this study indicated that community pharmacists perceive that there is room for improvement in the communication between themselves and prescribers in the primary and secondary care settings, concerning the care of the stroke patient. This highlights the need for the development of formal communication channels between community pharmacists and other members of the healthcare team involved in the care of the stroke patient. However, the challenges of communicating patient information across healthcare sectors are recognized.
KeywordsCerebrovascular accident Communication Community pharmacy Ireland Medication reconciliation Medication safety Stroke
We acknowledge the input of Coman Hennelly, Fionnuala Coleman, Kathleen Morgan and Lorna Conlan in administering the questionnaires and inputting data; the support of Prof. Hannah McGee, Dr Anne Hickey and Dr Frances Horgan for their comments and review through out the entire project. We also acknowledge the support of Dr James Barlow in reviewing drafts of the manuscript.
Conflict of interests statement
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