Pharmacists’ attitudes towards a pharmaceutical assessment screening tool to help prioritise pharmaceutical care in a UK hospital

Katherine J E Saxby, Ruth Murdoch, John McGuinness , Douglas Steinke, Steven Williams

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Abstract

Objective
To establish the thoughts of pharmacists using the pharmaceutical assessment screening tool (PAST) when assigning a patient acuity level and establish other decision factors. A patient acuity level is a pharmaceutical assessment of a patient (lowest =1 to highest =3), higher patient acuity levels highlight the requirement for a more intensive pharmaceutical input to reduce potential harm.

Method
A questionnaire designed to elicit attitudes about the pharmaceutical assessment screening tool was circulated to 32 pharmacists working in a 900 bed UK university teaching hospital. Respondents were asked to document what patient acuity level they would assign for six theoretical patient cases with an explanation. The data collected was analysed using Microsoft Excel® and further analysis was undertaken about the strength of agreement to PAST using the kappa statistic (Ƙ) using Stata v12 (StataCorp, TX., USA).

Results
The questionnaire was completed by 28/32 pharmacists (87.5% response rate). The mean confidence (SD) for assigning a patient acuity level (PAL) was 81% (±20%). 26/28 pharmacists (93%) agreed or strongly agreed that professional judgement guided them most when allocating a PAL. The PAL assigned to the case studies presented both over and under estimations compared to the guidance but overall the strength of agreement was considered to be “fair” (Ƙ =0.202).

Conclusion
Pharmacists feel confident about using a pharmaceutical assessment screening tool to help them assign a patient acuity level. However the use of professional judgement to assign an acuity level overrides any predicted level from PAST.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Early online date20 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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