Pharmacist perceptions on the need for a quality guidance resource for pharmacy service provision in the neonatal intensive care unit: comparison between Poland and Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, 2018, 9 (3), pp. 245 - 257
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© 2018 Royal Pharmaceutical Society Objectives: There is no global consensus on services and roles that should be performed by a clinical pharmacist in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Furthermore, there are no quality guidance resources or key performance indicators (KPIs) available to guide pharmacist practice in this setting. The purpose of this research was to explore pharmacist perceptions on the need for, and development of, a NICU-specific quality guidance resource containing KPIs for pharmacy service provision. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with directors of pharmacy as well as neonatal pharmacists in Poland and Australia. The interviews were conducted between February and August 2017. Key findings: Overall, three key themes were categorised around the study objectives: (1) Lack of guidance in the provision of NICU pharmaceutical care services, (2) Embracing a pharmacist-specific, quality guidance resource for the NICU and (3) Constraints limiting the use of quality guidance resource. None of the participants from either country were able to identify any readily available NICU-specific quality guidance resources for pharmacists. However, the majority of participants from both countries were open towards the development of a quality guidance resource and felt that this would be useful. Differences between countries were noted when considering the type of pharmacy practice models functioning in each country and the perceived barriers to implementing the proposed quality guidance resource into practice. Conclusion: Although there are significant differences in the type of pharmacist practice systems functioning in each country, pharmacists in both Australia and Poland demonstrated significant support for the development of a quality measurement tool to guide and structure practice in the NICU and recognised benefits to its implementation. Future efforts should focus on the development of quality measures that can be adapted to different NICU settings, both on a national scale and international scale.
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