Initial study of clinical pharmacy work prioritization tools

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Abstract

Purpose.

The development, implementation, and validity of clinical pharmacy work prioritization tools (CPWPTs) were analyzed.

Methods.

Informatics pharmacists were contacted and asked to participate in 30-minute teleconference interviews, as they have primary responsibility for the technical configuration of CPWPTs. A total of 19 respondents participated in the survey. The qualitative data collected encompassed the thoughts and ideas of practicing informatics pharmacists who are knowledgeable about the design, configuration, management, and use of CPWPTs. In addition to capturing their thoughts and ideas with open-ended questions, demographic data were collected, as was information about the sites where respondents worked and the CPWPTs they used.

Results.

Most of the CPWPTs were built into existing electronic health record platforms. There was considerable variation among the prioritization factors used at each site. The most commonly identified categories of prioritization factors were patient-specific factors, therapeutic classes of medications, and potential pharmacist interventions. All respondents reported that the prioritized tasks generated by their CPWPTs were examined for face validity. Of the 19 respondents, only 4 reported that the priorities generated by their CPWPT had been empirically validated in some way. Qualitative data analysis revealed that informatics pharmacists have 5 general perceptions about CPWPT factors, validation, and use in practice: (1) mirroring practice, (2) pharmacist consensus–based design, (3) complexity of logic, (4) tension between task-oriented and patient-centric approaches to practice, and (5) comfort from tracking tasks to completion.

Conclusion.

Early CPWPTs vary significantly in their prioritization factors. These tools partially reflect the scope of clinical pharmacy practice at the sites where they are used.

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