Research Abstracts

The Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy 2002;11:409.

Characterizing Patient Discharge Counseling Activities Performed By Hospital Pharmacists

Rebekah Curran, B.Sc. (Pharm.), Anar Dossa, B.Sc. (Pharm.), Kerry Wilbur, B.Sc.(Pharm), Pharm.D.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Service Unit, Vancouver General Hospital , Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (British Columbia Branch) Residency Research Presentation Night, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. May 8, 2002.


To determine how hospital pharmacists identify patients who require discharge counseling and to identify barriers to providing this service.


A major Canadian tertiary adult acute care teaching hospital.


A survey was distributed to clinical pharmacists at an acute care hospital. They were asked to rank how they identify patients requiring discharge counseling and specific barriers to performing this service. Additional data was collected on discharge activities, such as frequency of documenting patient interviews and liaising with community pharmacists. Opinions regarding the importance of patient discharge counseling were also solicited. Perceptions regarding professional duties and responsibilities of hospital pharmacists were assessed.


The majority ranked prescription of "target drugs" as either the first (50.0%) or second (28.6%) way to identify patients requiring discharge counseling. Almost half surveyed use medication teaching sheets as the primary patient counseling tool. The greatest barriers to providing patient discharge counseling identified were time and workload, followed by patient language. When asked to consider the last 10 patients they had counseled at discharge, two-thirds of pharmacists were able to document 9-10 of the interviews in the chart; however, most were unable to liaise with the community pharmacist. The majority of pharmacists (71%) very strongly agreed that the pharmacist is the health care professional most qualified to provide medication counseling to hospitalized patients.


This study has gathered data on current opinions and perceptions surrounding patient discharge counseling activities of hospital pharmacists.

Copyright © 2002 by the Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy. All rights reserved.