Frequency, nature and determinants of pharmaceutical consultations provided in private by Dutch community pharmacists
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According to a report published by the federation of Dutch patients’ associations, patients would like to see a pharmacist, who acts more as a personal adviser. This raised the question, how often Dutch community pharmacists have personal consultations with their patients in daily practice, on which factors this depends, and what kind of topics are discussed during these meetings.
Community pharmacies in the Netherlands
A questionnaire was distributed among 800 randomly selected pharmacies. Questions were restricted to consultations characterized by one-to-one contact, drug therapy related content, and adequate privacy. These consultations were labelled as pharmaceutical consultations in private to distinguish them from other contacts between pharmacists and patients.
Main outcome measure
Number, content, and character of consultations.
198 (24.8%) community pharmacies responded. The pharmacists provide an average of roughly 1.2 consultations in private per working day. The vast majority of respondents provided face-to-face and telephone consultations (94.4 and 91.9%, respectively), only a minority gave consultations by e-mail (30.8%). These consultations primarily dealt with topics related to medication safety. The mean overall time spent was 290 min per month. A relatively high frequency of personal consultations was significantly associated with the absolute number of full-time equivalent pharmacists in the pharmacy.
The frequency of pharmaceutical consultations in private is low, but may be improved by reorganisation of the pharmacist’s activities. The possibility of personal consultations by e-mail is not yet well-developed. Further research is needed to assess the patient’s view of pharmaceutical consultations in private.
KeywordsOutpatients Pharmaceutical care Consultations Evaluation study Pharmacists Pharmaceutical services Community pharmacy services The Netherlands
Possible conflict of interest
Peter De Smet works for the Scientific Institute Dutch Pharmacists, which is financially dependent on the Royal Dutch Society of Pharmacy (the professional pharmaceutical association in The Netherlands).
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