The counter and consultation room work explored in the Netherlands

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ObjectiveTo determine the frequency and nature of conversations at the counter and of private consultations at three Dutch community pharmacies.MethodsIn a purposive and convenience sample of three Dutch community pharmacies two work categories were investigated: counter work and consultation room work with self-reporting tally. The study took 6 weeks: 2 weeks at each pharmacy.Main outcome measureThe number of care related conversations and consultations emerging in the counter work and consultation room work.ResultsAbout 43% of all counter conversations consisted of the provision of pharmaceutical information and 72% of the consultations in the separate consultation room dealt with care related activities. However, only 18 consultations were held in this latter room: 0.4% of all reported conversations.ConclusionThe proportion of care related work at the counter and in the consultation room did have significant substance. There are however serious possibilities to change pharmaceutical care for the better. It is suggested that standard procedures at the counter may help increasing care related work. The presence of a separate consultation room may increase the number of consultations held in private, when combined with raising patient awareness of its existence.

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