Experience with a recently introduced drug information service in an Israeli hospital pharmacy
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In July 1996, the Pharmacy Department of the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel, initiated a prospective study aimed at justifying and evaluating the drug information service provided by the pharmacy team to the medical staff. The information is provided via telephone, with written consultations or bibliographies provided on request. All telephone queries and responses are computer recorded, so that the responses to requests can be evaluated. A standard form was prepared to evaluate this service. A total of 293 consultations took place during a one‐year period, yielding 528 different questions. The questions were received from different departments, including internal diseases (32.4%), surgery (31.2%), pediatrics (16.7%), obstetrics (10.9%), and psychiatry, oncology and hematology (together 6.8%). The pharmacy team provided this service to physicians and surgeons(51.2%), nurses (41.9%), and other medical professionals (6.9%). The types of drugs most frequently inquired about were anti‐infectives, antihypertensives,TPN & infusion preparations and anticoagulant drugs. Requested data included information regarding administration/dosage (34.1%), indications (14.6%), and interactions (13.9%), with very few questions about the availability of products (4.7%), equivalency (2.1%) and cost (1.5%). The time devoted to this service justified an additional quarter‐time employee. This study proved to be a quality assurance tool in the assessment of the educational and functional requirements of the hospital's medical health team.
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