Beliefs and Attitudes that Influence Reporting of Clinical Interventions by Pharmacists

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Pharmacist interventions improve patient outcomes and highlight the profession’s contribution to the healthcare team. Under-reporting of interventions is common and result from a variety of interrelated workplace barriers and individual beliefs and attitudes.


To investigate the barriers to pharmacists’ recording clinical interventions via the Incident Information Management System within an area health service.


All pharmacists within the area health service were surveyed to explore their opinions about intervention reporting and to identify potential barriers and incentives to reporting. Responses were also analysed for aspects relating to the type/ severity and frequency of clinical interventions reported.


Pharmacists are most likely to report actual interventions and those of a greater clinical severity than nearmisses or those of lesser significance. Approximately, only 20% of serious interventions were reported into the Incident Information Management System. Significant barriers to reporting interventions were time constraints, lack of feedback, difficulties with the reporting software and poor computer access. Respondents had a strong belief that interventions were an important part of a pharmacist’s role (98%) and that they improve patient outcomes (92%). However, the pharmacists had a lesser belief in the value of reporting these activities (p < 0.005).


Despite pharmacists attributing importance to clinical interventions, this activity was not well reported. The most important barriers were time constraints and technological limitations. An awareness of these barriers can assist in the development of work practices and technological solutions to improve clinical intervention reporting.

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