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J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 2000 Jan-Feb;40(1):41-5.

Intervention assessment in an Indian health service pharmacy.

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Chemawa Indian Health Center, Salem, Oregon, USA.



To document and evaluate pharmacists' interventions in a setting that has complete and immediate access to patient information.


Descriptive report evaluating self-reported interventions made by pharmacists during the conduct of routine dispensing activities. The data collection period was from February 15 to April 1, 1994.


Ambulatory care facility offering medical and dental care to high school residents, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives in Northwestern Oregon.


Intervention rate per 100 new prescriptions dispensed. Each intervention was evaluated with regard to the information used to initiate it, when during the dispensing process it was initiated, and the intervention type. Outside evaluators determined the clinical significance of the interventions, including potential adverse health consequences, the likelihood of their occurrence, and the level of medical care that would have been required to treat the problem.


Of 2,535 orders screened, 104 interventions (4.1%) were collected; 71% of these occurred during chart screening. Pharmacists most often used the medication order itself (60.6%) to detect prescribing problems, followed by other records in the patient's chart (29.8%). Outside evaluators identified 47.1% of the 104 interventions as clinically significant. The most common adverse health consequence prevented was inadequate control of the patient's condition. Outside evaluators also found that the most common level of corrective care that would have been needed if the intervention had not occurred, was a scheduled physician office visit (59.2%).


This information suggests that pharmacists who have access to patient information may intervene at higher rates and that more of their interventions may be deemed clinically significant. However, larger, double-blinded, case-controlled studies are needed to definitively draw these conclusions.

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