Drug information resources in community pharmacies in Ohio
Pharmacists are one of the most accessible health care providers, and as such, are in a position to impart more information to patients about medications, including specific questions about their prescribed medications, as well as alternative options . Additionally, with increased patient care services and an expanded collaborative practice approved in Ohio, specialty resources are advised to provide the best information. This responsibility means that it is extremely important for pharmacists to have access to appropriate resources.
A survey was designed to determine: which resources are readily available; if pharmacists are comfortable with their resources; if pharmacists are equipped to use them; and if the resources are appropriate for the services the pharmacy offers.. This survey was distributed via email through Qualtrics Surveying Tool with the candidates obtained through a list of community pharmacies by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The institutional review board of the Ohio Northern University approved the study and informed consent was implied by participation in the survey as per the directions in the email. Respondents were categorized by large chain community, small chain community, independent, or clinic/outpatient. A Pearson chi-square test was used to analyze data where appropriate.
A total of 2067 surveys were distributed and 318 were completed for a 15.4 percent (pct) response rate. Respondents for each category were representative of the percentages noted in the entire survey population – 67.6 pct large chain community, 20.1 pct community independent, 6.6 pct small chain community. Prescription volume was reported with a mean of 280 per day, and a range of 7 to 1000. The accessible resources reported by most were Drug Facts and Comparison (64.7 pct electronic, 15.4 pct paper), Ohio Laws (73.3 pct electronic, 32.1 pct paper), Federal Laws (51.9 pct electronic, 11.3 pct paper), and Clinical Pharmacology (46.2 pct electronic). Statistically significant differences were noted between the category of pharmacy and reported availability of these more frequently used resources. Results showed that many pharmacies are expanding their services with 80 pct reporting active participation in medication therapy management and provision of immunizations. Statistical differences were noted for specialty services among the different categories of pharmacies. Large chain community pharmacies statistically reported more involvement with immunizations, while independent pharmacies reported statistically more involvement with medication therapy management. While pharmacists are performing these extra services, 17 pct reported they were not trained with how to use their resources and 73 pct reported no sort of training for their staff for the resources to which they have access. In addition, 33 pct stated that they would like access to more resources to better serve their patients. One concern was that 30 pct reported there was no access to internet at their pharmacy.