BACKGROUND: Reliable and evidence-based medicines information (MI) is critical for patient care. To guarantee this, in many countries, there are medicines information centers (MICs) which offer medicines information services (MISs). While there are no MICs in Finland, pharmacists in all five university hospital pharmacies provide MISs. A proposal for establishing five MICs has been made by the National Medicines Information Network.
OBJECTIVES: The aim was to explore the current MISs and the perceptions of current and potential MI service providers of the need for the proposed national MICs. Barriers and facilitators for potential transition from the current MISs provided by the university hospital pharmacies to establishing national MICs, were examined.
METHODS: This sequential explanatory mixed methods study was conducted nationally during September 2019-April 2020 as an online survey and semi-structured individual, pair and group theme interviews with hospital representatives. The survey questionnaire was sent to chief pharmacists and MI pharmacists in all five Finnish university hospital pharmacies (n = 5, census). The interviews (n = 13) were carried out with chief pharmacists, MI pharmacists, medication safety officers (pharmacists), chairs of the Medicines Advisory Board (physicians) and clinical pharmacologists (physicians) (participants n = 19). The data was analyzed using descriptive quantitative analysis and qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: All invited representatives participated in the study. Offered MISs are quite similar but the human resources vary among the organizations. Answering MI questions was one of the core MISs. Most representatives considered a proposal of establishing five MICs to Finland positively. The expected benefits were related to achieving an official status to enhance MI, establishing the MICs within the university hospitals and close to where the MISs are needed, and fostering multiprofessional collaboration and collaboration between the MICs. Limited financial and human resources were seen the most critical challenges.
CONCLUSION: The existing expertise of the pharmacists and the similarities in MISs provided by the university hospital pharmacies seem to provide a good basis and preconditions for expanding MI operations and forming MICs at the national level. By pooling current limited resources, synergies could be achieved and MISs, and potentially MICs developed. The establishment of MICs may enhance utilization of networking and multiprofessional collaboration in producing MISs at the national level.
|Journal||Exploratory research in clinical and social pharmacy|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2022|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
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