Emergency Department Pharmacist Practitioners (EDPPs) undertake both ‘traditional’ clinical pharmacy work, e.g. checking prescriptions, and ‘practitioner’ work, e.g. perform clinical examinations. A recent study found a large variation in the extent and type of care provided. Whilst variation allows services to be tailored to local needs, it is important that care meets the minimum standards that are safe, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient, and equitable.
To develop an EDPP service specification based on views of professional and patient stakeholders, primarily to support providers with delivery of high quality services.
Patients, EDPP,s and other ED healthcare professionals developed standards guided by the Institute of Medicine's quality domains. A panel of six EDPPs suggested and agreed on themes that should be included in the service specification. Additional themes were identified through interviews with eight patients who had been cared for by EDPPs as to their expectations of the service. Finally, a multidisciplinary expert panel of healthcare professionals and researchers reviewed and refined the service specification.
EDPPs developed 36 themes with consensus achieved for 25. Additional themes from the patient interviews concerned the communication and behaviour of EDPPs rather than specific clinical activities undertaken. Whilst patients were happy to be cared for by an EDPP working within their competence, for certain conditions (e.g. major trauma) they wanted a doctor as their main care provider. An evidence-based EDPP service specification of 52 criteria grouped into 4 categories was produced: direct patient care (29); other activities (10); general approach (10); and service structures (3).
As the product of both patient and expert input, EDs could align existing or newly developed services to the specification. Whether or not the specification actually improves the quality of EDPP services requires investigation, as does the absolute quality impact of services.