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Pattern of Drug Information Queries in a South Indian Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital

Author(s): H. R. Bright* and J. V. Peter
Pharmacy Services, Christian Medical College, Vellore-632 004, India

Correspondence Address:
Pharmacy Services, Christian Medical College, Vellore-632 004, India

Drug information centers have been established to provide unbiased information to healthcare workers and patients. The pattern of drug information queries received and answered by the drug information centre in a tertiary care teaching hospital in South India was assessed. Prospectively documented drug information queries, received and answered by the drug information centre over a 15-month period, were reviewed retrospectively for various parameters including status of the requestor, mode of receipt, mode of reply, type of query, purpose of query and references used. A total of 2010 queries were received and answered during the study period. Queries were received mainly from physicians (41 %), followed by nurses (n=595; 30 %) and pharmacists (n=462; 23 %). Dentists, students and healthcare professionals from outside the institution accounted for 139 (6 %) queries. Internet-based resource was the main reference source (n=952; 47 %) followed by textbooks, intranet resources and journals. Patient care-related queries were the most common. The information sought included product identification (22 %), drug dose or schedule (16 %), product availability (13 %), drug of choice/therapeutic alternatives/therapeutic use (10 %), product information (10 %), drug use in special populations and administration (6 % each), compatibility/stability/storage (5 %) and adverse reactions (4 %). The drug information center in a teaching hospital handles a wide range of queries from various healthcare workers, meets specific healthcare needs and serves as a valuable source of drug information. The impact of this service on improving patient care and minimizing errors warrants further study.

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