Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 212–217 | Cite as

Development of a quality use of medicines coding system to rate clinical pharmacists' medication review recommendations

  • L. Sorensen
  • M.S. Roberts
  • M.P. Grobler


Objective: To develop a 'quality use of medicines' coding system for the assessment of pharmacists' medication reviews and to apply it to an appropriate cohort.Method: A 'quality use of medicines' coding system was developed based on findings in the literature. These codes were then applied to 216 (111 intervention, 105 control( veterans' medication profiles by an independent clinical pharmacist who was supported by a clinical pharmacologist with the aim to assess the appropriateness of pharmacy interventions. The profiles were provided for veterans participating in a randomised, controlled trial in private hospitals evaluating the effect of medication review and discharge counselling. The reliability of the coding was tested by two independent clinical pharmacists in a random sample of 23 veterans from the study population.Main outcome measure: Interrater reliability was assessed by applying Cohen's kappa score on aggregated codes.Results: The coding system based on the literature consisted of 19 codes. The results from the three clinical pharmacists suggested that the original coding system had two major problems: (a( a lack of discrimination for certain recommendations e.g. adverse drug reactions, toxicity and mortality may be seen as variations in degree of a single effect and (b( certain codes e.g. essential therapy were in low prevalence. The interrater reliability for an aggregation of all codes into positive, negative and clinically non‐significant codes ranged from 0.49–0.58 (good to fair(. The interrater reliability increased to 0.72–0.79 (excellent( when all negative codes were excluded. Analysis of the sample of 216 profiles showed that the most prevalent recommendations from the clinical pharmacists were a positive impact in reducing adverse responses (31.9%(, an improvement in good clinical pharmacy practice (25.5%( and a positive impact in reducing drug toxicity (11.1%(. Most medications were assigned the clinically non‐significant code (96.6%(. In fact, the interventions led to a statistically significant difference in pharmacist recommendations in the categories; adverse response, toxicity and good clinical pharmacy practice measured by the quality use of medicine coding system.Conclusion: It was possible to use the quality use of medicine coding system to rate the quality and potential health impact of pharmacists' medication reviews, and the system did pick up differences between intervention and control patients. The interrater reliability for the summarised coding system was fair, but a larger sample of medication regimens is needed to assess the non‐summarised quality use of medicines coding system.

Coding system Drug related problems Interrater reliability Medication review Medicines management 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Sorensen
    • 1
  • M.S. Roberts
    • 1
  • M.P. Grobler
    • 2
  1. 1.Quality of Medication Care Group, Department of MedicineThe University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra HospitalBrisbaneAustralia E-mail
  2. 2.Pharmacia Australia (Pty) LtdAustralia

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