Marie Cicelie C. Ng, Monet M. Loquias
Objective: To retrospectively evaluate the quality of a hospital-based drug information service based on the structure-process-outcome model of quality assessment.
Methodology: A descriptive-evaluative design was utilized to assess the quality of drug information service in a tertiary, government hospital in Manila, Philippines from 2006 to 2008. Three evaluation tools were created, pilot-tested, and eventually employed to measure structure, process, and outcome parameters. The structure assessment employed secondary data obtained from the pharmacy profile, drug information and drug availability worksheets of the pharmacy department. For the process measures, only the drug information worksheets were utilized. Moreover, survey was conducted among the previous users of the service for the outcome evaluation. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The 24-hour pharmacist-operated drug information service is under one of the divisions of the pharmacy department. Funded by the hospital, it functions mainly for providing support to clinical services, education, and other specialized medication information activities. Drug inquiry forms for three years were collected. There were a total of 932 drug information worksheets and 135 drug availability worksheets retrieved. Majority of the queries were asked by nurses and most of the questions simply asked about the availability of the product. Drug information requests were usually received by phone, answered in less than 5 minutes, and utilized primarily tertiary literature. Process evaluation revealed very satisfactory ratings in clearly noted search questions and appropriate responses. Complete demographic information and timely provision of responses were observed as satisfactory. Out of 932 individuals who requested for drug information, only 38% were found to be eligible. A total of 350 questionnaires were sent out and 245 were retrieved. Majority of the information were used for patient care, specifically, adverse drug reactions and enhancing therapeutic effectiveness. Requesters perceived professional quality, clarity, timeliness, and helpfulness of the drug information responses as very good.
Conclusion: The hospital-based drug information service is comparable to the published information on drug information services provided in other countries. However, certain areas still need improvement, such as creation of a separate unit for drug information, proper documentation and follow-ups, and regular conduct of quality assessment program, for better delivery of quality service.