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J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 2000 Jul-Aug;40(4):500-8.

Effect of patient information on the quality of pharmacists' drug use review decisions.

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College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ 85308, USA.



To evaluate the effect of incremental increases in patient information on the quality of pharmacists' clinical decisions related to legally mandated prospective drug utilization review (DUR) responsibilities.


Unblinded comparison of two groups.


28 community pharmacists in Indiana (group 1) and 32 Public Health Service pharmacists employed in the Indian Health Service (IHS) (group 2).


Clinical cases involving prescribing problems were developed from patient charts. Each case contained four levels of increasing patient information: Level 1 included only information required for a legal prescription in Indiana; Level 2 added the patient's current medication profile, age, and allergies; Level 3 added the diagnosis or reason for use of the prescribed medication; and Level 4 added the physician's progress note. Pharmacists were asked to evaluate the prescribed drug therapy at each level of each case and complete a Dispensing Appropriateness Index (DAI) report, which included all prospective DUR criteria required by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. The quality of pharmacists' DUR decisions at each level of patient information was evaluated by comparing pharmacists' responses on the DAI reports with the consensus judgment of two clinical experts.


The quality of both community and IHS pharmacists' DUR decisions improved significantly at each incremental level of patient information.


Pharmacists in this study made better decisions when they had access to more complete patient information on which to base their decisions.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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