Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 120–126 | Cite as

The quality of Dutch hospital drug formularies: Evaluation of technical features and organisational information

  • R. Fijn
  • S.A.G. Engels
  • L.T.W de Jong‐van den Berg
  • C.S. De Vries
  • J.R.B.J. Brouwers
  • C.J. De Blaey


Introduction: Hospital drug formularies (HDFs) are widely used tools to help influence clinicians' prescribing behaviour. Besides the therapeutic quality of HDFs, the available information and the way in which this is presented are key factors in HDFs' success or failure to influence prescribing behaviour and enhance prescribing quality. This research evaluates the technical features and organisational information of Dutch HDFs. Methods: Seventy‐two (75%) of all Dutch HDFs were evaluated based on criteria retrieved from international literature and additional criteria drafted by occupational groups working with HDFs. Aspects that were studied were physical appearance and layout, practicability with respect to the available information and how easily this could be retrieved from the HDFs, information regarding drug choice policies such as seamless care, and the available type of therapeutic and pharmaceutical information. Results: Thirty‐three (46%) of the HDFs were less than 3 years old. Physical appearance of all HDFs was very well looked after. Two (3%) HDFs were disease‐oriented rather than drug‐oriented. Changes from pre‐admission therapy were addressed in 30 (42%) of the HDFs, but other seamless care policies were addressed in less than 20% of the HDFs. Finally, less than 50% provided therapeutic information that clinicians indicated as important. Discussion: Although Dutch HDFs are technically practicable with respect to user‐convenience, practice‐oriented features are capable of improvements. Furthermore, Dutch HDFs lack important clinical information for daily practice. To enhance seamless care across healthcare, generic prescribing and prescribing on admission from and discharge to any other sectors should be addressed more specifically.

Classification Drug and therapeutics committees Drug policies Drug selection Generic prescribing Out‐patients' prescribing Pharmacotherapy Prescribing policies Quality assurance Seamless care User‐convenience 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Fijn
  • S.A.G. Engels
  • L.T.W de Jong‐van den Berg
  • C.S. De Vries
  • J.R.B.J. Brouwers
  • C.J. De Blaey

There are no affiliations available

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