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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Comparison of community and hospital pharmacists' attitudes and behaviors on medication error disclosure to the patient: A pilot study

ChungYun Kim, Jennifer L Mazan, Ana C Quiñones-Boex
Journal of the American Pharmacists Association: JAPhA 2017, 57 (2): 201-205.e3
27876529

OBJECTIVES: To determine pharmacists' attitudes and behaviors on medication errors and their disclosure and to compare community and hospital pharmacists on such views.

METHODS: An online questionnaire was developed from previous studies on physicians' disclosure of errors. Questionnaire items included demographics, environment, personal experiences, and attitudes on medication errors and the disclosure process. An invitation to participate along with the link to the questionnaire was electronically distributed to members of two Illinois pharmacy associations. A follow-up reminder was sent 4 weeks after the original message. Data were collected for 3 months, and statistical analyses were performed with the use of IBM SPSS version 22.0.

RESULTS: The overall response rate was 23.3% (n = 422). The average employed respondent was a 51-year-old white woman with a BS Pharmacy degree working in a hospital pharmacy as a clinical staff member. Regardless of practice settings, pharmacist respondents agreed that medication errors were inevitable and that a disclosure process is necessary. Respondents from community and hospital settings were further analyzed to assess any differences. Community pharmacist respondents were more likely to agree that medication errors were inevitable and that pharmacists should address the patient's emotions when disclosing an error. Community pharmacist respondents were also more likely to agree that the health care professional most closely involved with the error should disclose the error to the patient and thought that it was the pharmacists' responsibility to disclose the error. Hospital pharmacist respondents were more likely to agree that it was important to include all details in a disclosure process and more likely to disagree on putting a "positive spin" on the event.

CONCLUSION: Regardless of practice setting, responding pharmacists generally agreed that errors should be disclosed to patients. There were, however, significant differences in their attitudes and behaviors depending on their particular practice setting.

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