Assessment of physicians' and nurses' attitudes towards pharmacists as collaborators in medication therapy management at Kenyatta National Hospital
Purpose. The purpose of the study was to assess physicians' and nurses' attitudes toward pharmacists as collaborators in medication therapy management. This was to shed more light to the extent at which clinical pharmacy services were rendered at the medical institutions. The study was conducted at K.N.H. in the months of July and August 2009. K.N.H. is a referral hospital located at capital city, Nairobi. It is a few kilometres from the city centre and also serves residents of Nairobi and surrounding areas. Methods. The study involved construction of appropriate questionnaires validated via pilot study and eventual distribution to three professional groups viz nurses, medical doctors and pharmacist. All pharmacists who have worked for at least two years were included plus the relevant medical doctors and nurses in wards at levels 7 and 8. The in-charges in various stations were used to aid in the distribution. Daily follow-up and visits during night shift were done to make sure as many as possible of these professionals responded. Results. One hundred and fifteen of the medical professionals responded of which 26 were medical doctors, 51 were nurses and 38 were pharmacists. The results were analysed statistically from the various groups by use of graphs. Conclusion. Pharmacists are absent in the wards and medical doctors and nurses rarely sought drug information from them, they use other sources. These professionals recognize the pharmacist's knowledge on drugs and would like them to be readily available to give the necessary information as well as train nurses more about drugs. This will be achieved more effectively by pharmacists holding a joint ward rounds with other professionals and not their own. Pharmacists are well aware of clinical pharmacy but do not practice it. Medical services delivery can be improved if pharmacists are .involved in treatment plans and are available in the wards. And this will favourably increase therapeutic outcomes in the hospital. Recommendations. Pharmacists at KNH should be assigned to work in particular wards and a therapeutic committee formed to oversee enhanced collaboration between medical professionals in clinical care teams. Curriculum of the medical and pharmacy students should be revised so that rapport between them can start forming early enough. And clinical pharmacy services should be fully implemented in KNH to improve therapeutic outcomes. All institutions training pharmacy personnel should be affiliated to a medical institution where pharmaceutical care will be vigorously instructed and implemented. The various professional bodies of the health workers should address the issue of collaboration in their agendas as often as possible.