Computer-assisted medication review for asthmatic patients as a basis for intervention Constructing and validating an algorithmic computer instrument in pharmacy practice
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Objective: To construct and validate a computer instrument that identifies asthma patients receiving – theoretically – suboptimal drug therapy in community pharmacies, by the use of patient medication records. This selection enables the pharmacist to assist these patients in using medicines appropriately.
Methods: According to Dutch asthma guidelines which describe a stepwise approach and in order to define correct profiles for the use at each level of these guidelines, the optimum use of drugs in the different levels in asthma treatment was expressed in defined daily doses (DDDs) per pharmacological drug-group during a period of one year. An algorithmic computer instrument was developed to select patients with medication use deviant from these profiles. By using nine different selection profiles, the computer instrument stratified patients according to the medication records filed in the pharmacy computer. Patient medication records in four community pharmacies were investigated to validate the selection profiles as indicators for theoretically suboptimal drug use by asthma patients. The validation was performed by comparing the professional judgement of participating pharmacists with the selections made by the computer.
Main outcome measure: Positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the selection made by algorithmic computer instrument. Rate of false-positive results.
Results: The computer instrument identified asthma patients using theoretically suboptimal drug therapy with approximately 95% predictive value compared with the professional judgement of the pharmacists. The rate of false-positive results was 5%.
Conclusion: The results of the algorithmic computer instrument and the professional judgement of the pharmacists are in close agreement. The instrument will be utilised in further research in the IPMP study (Interventions on the principle of Pulmonary Medication Profiles) investigating the role of Dutch community pharmacists in counselling patients who are at risk of suboptimal drug use in the treatment of their asthma.
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