Patient Awareness and Expectations of Pharmacist Services During Hospital Stay

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Abstract

Background:

There are insufficient data in the United States regarding patient awareness and expectations of hospital pharmacist availability and services.

Objective:

The objective of this research is to assess patient awareness and expectations of hospital pharmacist services and to determine whether a marketing campaign for pharmacist services increases patient awareness and expectations.

Methods:

Eligible inpatients were surveyed before and after implementation of a hospital-wide pharmacist services marketing campaign (12 items; Likert scale of 1 [strongly disagree] to 4 [strongly agree]; maximum total score of 48) regarding awareness of pharmacist services. The primary outcome was the change in median total survey scores from baseline. Other outcomes included the frequency of patient requests for pharmacists.

Results:

Similar numbers of patients completed the survey before and after the campaign (intervention, n = 140, vs control, n = 147). Awareness of pharmacist availability and services was increased (41 [interquartile ranges, IQRs: 36-46] vs 37 [IQR 31-43]; P < .001). Patients were 7 times more likely to request a pharmacist following the marketing campaign implementation.

Conclusion:

Awareness among inpatients of pharmacist services is low. Marketing pharmacist availability and services to patients in the hospital improves awareness and expectations for pharmacist-provided care and increases the frequency of patient-initiated interaction between pharmacists and patients. This could improve patient outcomes as pharmacists become more integrally involved in direct patient care.

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