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Br J Gen Pract. Sep 1997; 47(422): 563–566.
PMCID: PMC1313105

Do general practitioners and community pharmacists want information on the reasons for drug therapy changes implemented by secondary care?

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The content of discharge prescriptions/summaries to improve communication about medication provided at discharge has been the subject of recent studies. To date, the authors are not aware of any literature that assesses the need for primary care health professionals to receive information on reasons for drug therapy changes incurred during hospital admission. Owing to increased emphasis on seamless care, patient education, and increased accountability for drug costs, general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists may consider the receipt of information on the reasons for drug therapy changes incurred during hospital admission to be an essential requirement. AIM: To determine whether GPs and community pharmacists want, and receive, information on the reasons for drug therapy changes implemented by secondary care. The preferred method of acquiring this information is also investigated. METHOD: A questionnaire was posted to all GPs and community pharmacists within the catchment area of Glasgow Royal Infirmary University NHS Trust. Data were collected between June 1995 and July 1995. RESULTS: Replies were received from 71 (64%) GPs and 33 (80%) community pharmacists. Of the respondents, 96% of GPs and 94% of community pharmacists would like information on one or more reason types for drug therapy changes, but the majority do not receive the desired information. Ninety per cent of GPs and 85% of community pharmacists seek this information of facilitate continuity of patient care. The preferred method of receiving the information is by postal delivery via a modified hospital discharge prescription. CONCLUSION: The existing hospital discharge prescription requires modification to facilitate the completion of the reasons for drug therapy changes. The issue of patient-held cards requires consideration. These factors may facilitate continuity of patient care on hospital discharge.

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Selected References

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