Adherence to guideline recommendations for asthma care in community pharmacies: actual and needed performance.
ABSTRACT: Pharmaceutical care guidelines aim to provide recommendations for pharmaceutical care, reduce unwanted pharmacy practice variation and ultimately improve the quality of healthcare. This study evaluated community pharmacists' adherence to recommendations for the provision of care to asthma patients with first dispensing and follow-up refill encounters in The Netherlands. Data were pharmacists' self-assessment of adherence to guideline recommendations, independent observations of dispensing encounters and a nationwide questionnaire on pharmacists' views on the desirable (clinical) necessity of applying guideline recommendations to their patient population. The 21 pharmacists who performed self-assessment judged their adherence concerning inhalation instructions as high. The lowest scores were reported for recommendations to collect additional information on the type of lung disease and for asking patients' expectations, wishes and concerns. Sixty-eight dispensing encounters were observed. In 83% of the 35 first dispensing observations, inhalation instruction was provided. This percentage was lower (62%) at refill dispensings. During all encounters, pharmacy staff seldom explored patients' perceptions or responded to patients' expectations, wishes and concerns. One hundred and four pharmacists completed the feasibility questionnaire. Pharmacists judged that all patients should receive inhalation instruction at first dispensing. They regarded it necessary to check on patients' expectations, wishes and concerns regarding the treatment for only up to 70% of the patients. More efforts on guideline implementation are needed, especially on follow-up dispensings and on gaining relevant information from patients and other healthcare professionals. Pharmacists still have opportunities to grow in applying a patient-tailored approach and exploring patients' individual needs, rather than providing practical information.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine if a prototype pharmacists' services evaluation programme that uses linked community pharmacy claims and health administrative data to measure pharmacists' performance can be used to identify characteristics of pharmacies providing higher quality of care. DESIGN:Population-based cohort study using community pharmacy claims from 1 November 2009 to 30 June 2010. SETTING:All community pharmacies in Quebec, Canada. PARTICIPANTS:1742 pharmacies dispensing 8?655?348 antihypertensive prescriptions to 760?700 patients. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE:Patient adherence to antihypertensive medications. PREDICTORS:Pharmacy level: dispensing workload, volume of pharmacist-provided professional services (eg, refusals to dispense, pharmacotherapy recommendations), pharmacy location, banner/chain, pharmacist overlap and within-pharmacy continuity of care. Patient level: sex, age, income, patient prescription cost, new/chronic therapy, single/multiple antihypertensive medications, single/multiple prescribers and single/multiple dispensing pharmacies. Dispensing level: prescription duration, time of day dispensed and antihypertensive class. Multivariate alternating logistic regression estimated predictors of the primary outcome, accounting for patient and pharmacy clustering. RESULTS:9.2% of dispensings of antihypertensive medications were provided to non-adherent patients. Male sex, decreasing age, new treatment, multiple prescribers and multiple dispensing pharmacies were risk factors for increased non-adherence. Pharmacies that provided more professional services were less likely to dispense to non-adherent hypertensive patients (OR: 0.60; 95%?CI: 0.57 to 0.62) as were those with better scores on the Within-Pharmacy Continuity of Care Index. Neither increased pharmacists' services for improving antihypertensive adherence per se nor increased pharmacist overlap impacted the odds of non-adherence. However, pharmacist overlap was strongly correlated with dispensing workload. There was significant unexplained variability among pharmacies belonging to different banners and chains. CONCLUSIONS:Pharmacy administrative claims data can be used to calculate pharmacy-level characteristics associated with improved quality of care. This study supports the importance of pharmacist's professional services and continuity of pharmacist's care.
Project description:Researchers often use prescribing data from electronic health records (EHR) or dispensing data from medication or medical claims to determine medication utilization. However, neither source has complete information on medication use. We compared antibiotic prescribing and dispensing records for 200,395 patients in the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) Antibiotics and Childhood Growth Study. We stratified analyses by delivery system type [closed integrated (cIDS) and non-cIDS]; 90.5 percent and 39.4 percent of prescribing records had matching dispensing records, and 92.7 percent and 64.0 percent of dispensing records had matching prescribing records at cIDS and non-cIDS, respectively. Most of the dispensings without a matching prescription did not have same-day encounters in the EHR, suggesting they were medications given outside the institution providing data, such as those from urgent care or retail clinics. The sensitivity of prescriptions in the EHR, using dispensings as a gold standard, was 99.1 percent and 89.9 percent for cIDS and non-cIDS, respectively. Only 0.7 percent and 6.1 percent of patients at cIDS and non-cIDS, respectively, were classified as false-negative, i.e. entirely unexposed to antibiotics when they in fact had dispensings. These patients were more likely to have a complex chronic condition or asthma. Overall, prescription records worked well to identify exposure to antibiotics. EHR data, such as the data available in PCORnet, is a unique and vital resource for clinical research. Closing data gaps by understanding why prescriptions may not be captured can improve this type of data, making it more robust for observational research.
Project description:BACKGROUND:U.S. recommendations for using influenza antiviral medications changed in response to viral resistance (to reduce adamantane use) and during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic (to focus on protecting high-risk patients). Little information is available on clinician adherence to these recommendations. We characterized population-based outpatient antiviral medication usage, including diagnosis and testing practices, before and during the pandemic. METHODS:Eight medical care organizations in the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project provided data on influenza antiviral medication dispensings from January 2000 through June 2010. Dispensing rates were explored in relation to changes in recommendations and influenza diagnosis and laboratory testing frequencies. Factors associated with oseltamivir dispensings in pandemic versus pre-pandemic periods were identified using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS:Antiviral use changed coincident with recommendations to avoid adamantanes in 2006, to use alternatives to oseltamivir in 2008, and to use oseltamivir during the pandemic. Of 38,019 oseltamivir dispensings during the pandemic, 31% were to patients not assigned an influenza diagnosis, and 97% were to patients not tested for influenza. Oseltamivir was more likely to be dispensed in pandemic versus pre-pandemic periods to patients <25 years old and to those with underlying conditions, including chronic pulmonary disease or pregnancy (P<0.0001 for each factor in multivariable analysis). CONCLUSIONS:Antiviral medication usage patterns suggest that clinicians followed recommendations to change antiviral prescribing based on resistance and to focus on high-risk patients during the pandemic. Medications were commonly dispensed to patients without influenza diagnoses and tests, suggesting that antiviral dispensings may offer useful supplemental data for monitoring influenza incidence.
Project description:RATIONALE, AIMS, AND OBJECTIVES:Despite recommendations in prevailing guidelines to avoid the use of non-selective (NS) ?-blockers in patients with asthma or COPD, on average, 10 patients per community pharmacy receive NS ?-blockers monthly. The aim of our study was to identify the reasons of prescribers and pharmacists to treat asthma and COPD patients with NS ?-blockers. METHODS:Fifty-three community pharmacists in the Netherlands selected patients with actual concurrent use of inhalation medication and NS ?-blockers. For at least 5 patients, each pharmacist screened all medication surveillance signals and actions taken at first dispensing. Each pharmacist selected 3 different initial prescribers for a short interview to explore their awareness of the co-morbidity and reasons to apply NS ?-blockers. RESULTS:Pharmacists identified 827 asthma/COPD patients with actual use of NS ?-blockers. From these, 153 NS ?-blocker prescribers were selected and interviewed (64 general practitioners, 45 ophthalmologists, 24 cardiologists, and 20 other prescribers). One hundred seven prescribers were aware of the drug-disease interaction of the asthma or COPD co-morbidity when initiating the NS ?-blocker, and 46 were not. From these, 40 prescribers did not consider the contraindication to be relevant. For 299 patients, medication surveillance signals and actions at first dispensing were retrieved. Patients used predominantly ocular timolol (39.8%), and the oral preparations propranolol (30.8%) and carvedilol (15.1%). In 154 cases, the pharmacy system generated a warning alert. CONCLUSIONS:A substantial number of prescribers was unaware of the co-morbidity or did not regard NS ?-blockers contraindicated, despite prevailing clinical guidelines. Improvement programs should target prescribers' awareness and knowledge of NS ?-blockers in patients with asthma or COPD.
Project description:Background:Antibiotics are the most frequently used medicines worldwide with most of the countries defining these as prescription-only medicines. Though, dispensing non-prescribed antibiotics represent one of the chief causal factors to the irrational use of antibiotics that paves the way to the development of antimicrobial resistance. Objective:We aimed at describing the practices and the enablers for non-prescribed antibiotic dispensing in Maputo city, Mozambique. Methods:A qualitative study was conducted, between October 2018 and March 2019, in nine private pharmacies randomly selected across Maputo city. Eighteen pharmacists were contacted and seventeen enrolled through snowball sampling. In-depth interviews were conducted, audiotaped, and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were coded and analysed though thematic analysis with guidelines from Braun and Clark. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Studies (COREQ) checklist by (Tong, 2007) was performed. Results:Out of seventeen, fifteen pharmacists admitted non-prescribed dispensing of antibiotics. Common antibiotic dispensing practices included; dispensing without prescription, without asking for a brief clinical history of patients, without clear explanation of the appropriate way of administering, without advising on the side effects. Reasons for non-prescribed antibiotic dispensing are linked to patients' behaviour of demanding for non-prescribed antibiotics, to the patients expectations and beliefs on the healing power of antibiotics, to the physicians' prescribing practices. Other reasons included the pressure for profits from the pharmacy owners, the fragile law enforcement, and absence of accountability mechanisms. Conclusions:The practices of non-prescribed antibiotic dispensing characterize the 'daily life' of the pharmacists. On the one hand, the patient's demand for antibiotics without valid prescriptions, and pharmacist's wish to assist based on their role in the pharmacy, the pressure for profits and on the understanding of the larger forces driving the practices of self-medication with antibiotics - rock. On the other hand, pharmacists are aware of the legal status of antibiotics and the public health consequences of their inappropriate dispensing practices and their professional and ethical responsibility for upholding the law - hard place. Highlighting the role of pharmacists and their skills as health promotion professionals is needed to optimizing antibiotic dispensing and better conservancy in Mozambique.
Project description:Introduction: Critically ill patients and their pharmacokinetics present complexities often not considered by consensus guidelines from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists. Prior surveys have suggested discordance between certain guideline recommendations and reported infectious disease pharmacist practice. Vancomycin dosing practices, including institutional considerations, have not previously been well described in the critically ill patient population. Objectives: To evaluate critical care pharmacists’ self-reported vancomycin practices in comparison to the 2009 guideline recommendations and other best practices identified by the study investigators. Methods: An online survey developed by the Research and Scholarship Committee of the Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology (CPP) Section of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) was sent to pharmacist members of the SCCM CPP Section practicing in adult intensive care units in the spring of 2017. This survey queried pharmacists’ self-reported practices regarding vancomycin dosing and monitoring in critically ill adults. Results: Three-hundred and sixty-four responses were received for an estimated response rate of 26%. Critical care pharmacists self-reported largely following the 2009 vancomycin dosing and monitoring guidelines. The largest deviations in guideline recommendation compliance involve consistent use of a loading dose, dosing weight in obese patients, and quality improvement efforts related to systematically monitoring vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity. Variation exists regarding pharmacist protocols and other practices of vancomycin use in critically ill patients. Conclusion: Among critical care pharmacists, reported vancomycin practices are largely consistent with the 2009 guideline recommendations. Variations in vancomycin dosing and monitoring protocols are identified, and rationale for guideline non-adherence with loading doses elucidated.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Benzodiazepines have been a common target for policy interventions to curtail inappropriate use, with mixed results. To reduce alprazolam misuse, in February 2017, Australia delisted the 2-mg tablet strength from public subsidy, eliminated refills, and reduced the pack size from 50 tablets to 10 tablets.<h4>Objective</h4>To describe changes in alprazolam dispensing, prescribing, and poisonings associated with the implementation of a new policy to reduce inappropriate prescription of alprazolam in Australia.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This interrupted time series analysis and cross-sectional study included data from a 10% sample of Australian people who received publicly subsidized dispensing claims and prescribing approvals for alprazolam from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2018, and all calls to a poison information service involving alprazolam from February 1, 2015, to October 31, 2018. Autoregressive error models were used to quantify changes over time and compare patterns of use before and after the intervention. Data analyses were conducted from November 2018 to May 2019.<h4>Exposure</h4>Implementation of the policy change on February 1, 2017.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Monthly trends in alprazolam prescribing approvals and dispensings, quarterly trends in telephone calls involving alprazolam to a poison information service, and patterns of prescribing and dispensing before and after the intervention.<h4>Results</h4>From 2015 to 2018, there were 71?481 alprazolam dispensings to 6772 people. After the intervention, overall dispensing decreased by 51.2% (95% CI, 50.5%-51.9%) and prescribing approvals increased by 17.5% (95% CI, 13.0%-22.2%). Overall, the proportion of dispensing of packs of 51 to 100 tablets increased from 5776 of 24?282 dispensings (23.8%) to 4888 of 10?676 dispensings (45.8%) (risk difference [RD], 22.0% [95% CI, 19.4%-24.6%]) and dispensing of packs of more than 100 tablets increased from 1029 of 24?282 dispensings (4.2%) to 1774 of 10?676 dispensings (16.6%) (RD, 12.4% [95% CI, 10.6%-14.2%]). Among people receiving their first alprazolam prescription, initiation with packs of 10 tablets or fewer increased from 16 of 1127 people (1.4%) before the intervention to 139 of 589 people (23.6%) after the intervention (RD, 22.2% [95% CI, 18.7%-25.7%]). Alprazolam treatment initiation with packs of more than 50 tablets also increased from 63 of 1127 people (5.6%) before the intervention to 144 of 589 people (24.4%) after the intervention (RD, 18.9% [95% CI, 15.1%-22.6%]). During 1 year before the intervention, patients received a median (interquartile range [IQR]) total of 250 (50-600) tablets and median (IQR) total combined tablet strength of 188 (50-550) mg. During 1 year after the intervention, people were dispensed less alprazolam, with a median (IQR) total of 200 (50-500) tablets and median (IQR) total combined tablet strength of 120 (30-360) mg. There was little change in poisoning calls involving alprazolam.<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>This study found that after the policy intervention, subsidized alprazolam use decreased, but the increase in prescribing approvals placed additional burden on prescribers. Even after the intervention, most people who were dispensed alprazolam were still receiving treatment contrary to best-practice recommendations. Furthermore, the poison information center data suggested that people were still being dispensed the 2-mg tablet strength, presumably as nonsubsidized (ie, private) prescriptions.
Project description:Antibiotic use rates have declined dramatically since the 1990s. We aimed to determine if, when, and at what level the decline in antibiotic-dispensing rates ended and which diagnoses contributed to the trends.Antibiotic dispensings and diagnoses were obtained from 2 health insurers for 3- to <72-month-olds in 16 Massachusetts communities from 2000 to 2009. Population-based antibiotic-dispensing rates per person-year (p-y) were determined according to year (September-August) for 3 age groups. Fit statistics were used to identify the most likely year for a change in trend. Rates for the first and last years were compared according to antibiotic category and associated diagnosis.From 2000-2001 to 2008-2009, the antibiotic-dispensing rate for 3- to <24-month-olds decreased 24% (2.3-1.8 antibiotic dispensings per p-y); for 24- to <48-month-olds, it decreased 18% (1.6-1.3 antibiotic dispensings per p-y); and for 48- to <72-month-olds, it decreased 20% (1.4-1.1 antibiotic dispensings per p-y). For 3- to <48-month-olds, rates declined until 2004-2005 and remained stable thereafter; the downward trend for 48- to <72-month-olds ended earlier in 2001-2002. Among 3- to <24-month-olds, first-line penicillin use declined 26%. For otitis media, the dispensing rate decreased 14% and the diagnosis rate declined 9%, whereas the treatment fraction was stable at 63%.The downward trend in antibiotic dispensings to young children in these communities ended by 2004-2005. This trend was driven by a declining otitis media diagnosis rate. Continued monitoring of population-based dispensing rates will support efforts to avoid returning to previous levels of antibiotic overuse.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use is widespread. There have been increasing concerns about overuse of high-dose PPIs for durations longer than clinically necessary. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the impact of national education initiatives on reducing PPI use in Australia. DESIGN:Population-based, controlled interrupted time series analysis of PPI dispensing claims data for Australian adults from July 2012 to June 2018; we used statin dispensing as a control. INTERVENTIONS:A year-long educational initiative led by NPS MedicineWise (previously the National Prescribing Service) from April 2015. Simultaneously, Choosing Wisely released recommendations in April 2015 and May 2016. Both promoted review of prolonged PPI use and encouraged stepping down or ceasing treatment, where appropriate. MEASUREMENTS:We examined monthly changes in PPI (and statin) dispensing (stratified by high, standard and low tablet strength), rates of switching from higher to lower strength PPIs and rates of PPI (and statin) discontinuation. RESULTS:We observed 12 040 021 PPI dispensings to 579?594 people. We observed a sustained -1.7% (95% CI: -2.7 to -0.7%) decline in monthly dispensing of standard strength PPIs following the initiatives until the end of the study period. There were no significant changes in high or low strength PPI (or statin) dispensings, switching to lower strength PPIs, or PPI (and statin) treatment discontinuation. CONCLUSION:Our findings suggest that these educational initiatives alone were insufficient in curbing overuse of PPIs on a national level. Concerted efforts with policy levers such as imposing tighter restrictions on subsidised use of PPIs may be more effective. Noting low strength esomeprazole is not publicly subsidised in Australia, availability of these preparations may also facilitate more appropriate practice.