Assessment of dispensing practices and patients' satisfaction with pharmaceutical services Offered at Kenyatta national hospital pharmacies
Background: The label on the dispensed medicines has two main functions. One is to uniquely identify the contents of the container. The other is to ensure that patients have clear and concise information which will enable them to take or use their medicine in the most effective and appropriate way. There are both legal and professional requirements which must be complied with when labelling a dispensed medicine. It is the pharmacist's / pharmacy staff's responsibility to ensure that these requirements are satisfied and that all labelling is accurate and comprehensive. Prescribing patterns need to be evaluated periodically to increase therapeutic efficacy, decrease adverse effects and provide feedback to prescribers. Availability of drugs at the point of need has been a matter of great concern for health services all over the world, especially for the less developed countries. Patient satisfaction is a key indicator of the quality of health services. including nharmaceutical services. Goal of Study: To improve the quality of pharmaceutical services at Kenyatta National Hospital. Objective: To determine the drug labelling practices, pattern of prescribing, drug availability and the level of patient satisfaction with pharmaceutical services offered at KNH outpatient pharmacies. Study Design: Hospital pharmacy-based cross-sectional study. Study Area: Four selected pharmacies at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Sampling Technique: A systematic random sampling was used. Study Population: 392 patients who received drugs from Kenyatta National Hospital outpatient pharmacies between the months of April and October 2008. Data Analysis: Data cleaning was done before analysis usmg SPSS software version 12 statistical package. IV Results: Generally, the product name appeared most (98%) followed by directions for use (93%),"keep out of reach of children" (79%), quantity of medicine dispensed (62%), name and address of the pharmacy / logo of the hospital (55%), other cautionary statements (53%), expiry date(48%), patient name (23%), and prescription number (1%) and prescriber's name (0%). The average number of drugs per prescription was 2.9 during the study period. The most prescribed drugs were the cardiovascular system, anti-infectives and endocrine system drugs. Only 45.4% of the respondents got all their prescribed medication in the pharmacy. Patient knowledge was found to be satisfactory in 99.9% which indicated good pharmacy staff instructions to the respondents. The overall satisfaction level of the patients in this study was 78.6%. There was no association observed between the level of satisfaction and the type of respondents, age, gender, marital status,education, employment and number of visits. Conclusion: Most labelling requirements were met since majority of them were above 50%, there was satisfactory patients knowledge, the average number of drugs per prescription was 2.9 during the study period, however this was above the WHO recommendation of 1.6 drugs per patient per encounter, only 45.4% of the respondents got all their prescribed medications in the pharmacies, the most prescribed drugs were cardiovascular system, anti-infectives and endocrine system drugs. Satisfaction level of patients was good. Recommendation: Prescriber's number, name and address of the pharmacy should be in use for easy tracing of the root cause of any problem which may arise during medication use by patients. Prescribing of fewer drugs based on correct diagnosis should be implemented for the therapeutic benefits of patients. Better availability of drugs should be based on essential medicines lists and increasing of the hospital drug procurement budget.