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Keywords:

  • Delphi technique;
  • hospital pharmacy;
  • ranking;
  • ward-based and clinic-based clinical pharmacists

Abstract

Objectives

To establish a consensual and coherent ranking of healthcare programmes that involve the presence of ward-based and clinic-based clinical pharmacists, based on health outcome, health costs and safe delivery of care.

Methods

This descriptive study was derived from a structured dialogue (Delphi technique) among directors of pharmacy department. We established a quantitative profile of healthcare programmes at five sites that involved the provision of ward-based and clinic-based pharmaceutical care. A summary table of evidence established a unique quality rating per inpatient (clinic-based) or outpatient (ward-based) healthcare programme. Each director rated the perceived impact of pharmaceutical care per inpatient or outpatient healthcare programme on three fields: health outcome, health costs and safe delivery of care. They agreed by consensus on the final ranking of healthcare programmes.

Key findings

A ranking was assigned for each of the 18 healthcare programmes for outpatient care and the 17 healthcare programmes for inpatient care involving the presence of pharmacists, based on health outcome, health costs and safe delivery of care. There was a good correlation between ranking based on data from a 2007–2008 Canadian report on hospital pharmacy practice and the ranking proposed by directors of pharmacy department.

Conclusions

Given the often limited human and financial resources, managers should consider the best evidence available on a profession's impact to plan healthcare services within an organization. Data are few on ranking healthcare programmes in order to prioritize which healthcare programme would mostly benefit from the delivery of pharmaceutical care by ward-based and clinic-based pharmacists.