Physician perspectives on collaborative working relationships with team-based hospital pharmacists in the inpatient medicine setting



Dr Ross T. Tsuyuki, 220 College Plaza, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2C8.




Collaborative care between physicians and pharmacists has the potential to improve the process of care and patient outcomes. Our objective was to determine whether team-based pharmacist care was associated with higher physician-rated collaborative working relationship scores than usual ward-based pharmacist care at the end of the COLLABORATE study, a 1 year, multicentre, controlled clinical trial, which associated pharmacist intervention with improved medication use and reduced hospital readmission rates.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey of all team-based and usual care physicians (attending physicians and medical residents) who worked on the participating clinical teaching unit or primary healthcare teams during the study period. They were invited to complete an online version of the validated Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration Index (PPCI) survey at the end of the study. The main endpoint of interest was the mean total PPCI score.

Key findings

Only three (response rate 2%) of the usual care physicians responded and this prevented us from conducting pre-specified comparisons. A total of 23 team-based physicians completed the survey (36%) and reported a mean total PPCI score of 81.6 ± 8.6 out of a total of 92. Mean domain scores were highest for relationship initiation (14.0 ± 1.4 out of 15), and trustworthiness (38.9 ± 3.7 out of 42), followed by role specification (28.7 ± 4.3 out of 35).


Pharmacists who are pursuing collaborative practice in inpatient settings may find the PPCI to be a meaningful tool to gauge the extent of collaborative working relationships with physician team members.