Non-implementation of pharmacist recommendations by physician prescribers may prolong potentially inappropriate prescribing in hospitalised older adults, increasing the risk of adverse clinical outcomes. The aim of this study was to ascertain the key factors affecting physician prescriber implementation of pharmacists' medication appropriateness recommendations in hospitalised older adults.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with hospital pharmacists and physicians who provided care to older adults (= 65 years) in two acute university teaching hospitals in Ireland. Content analysis was employed to identify the key themes that influence physician prescriber implementation of pharmacist recommendations.
Fourteen interviews were conducted with six hospital pharmacists and eight hospital physicians between August 2018 and August 2019. Five key factors were found to affect physician implementation of pharmacist recommendations: The clinical relevance and complexity of the recommendation: recommendations of higher priority and those that do not require complex decision-making are implemented more readily. Interprofessional communication: recommendations provided verbally, particularly those communicated face to face with confidence and assertion, are more likely to be implemented than written recommendations. Physician role and identity: the grade, specialty, and personality of the physician significantly affect implementation. Knowing each other and developing trusting relationships: personal acquaintance and the development of interprofessional trust and rapport greatly facilitate recommendation implementation. The hospital environment: organisational issues such as documentation in the patient notes, having the opportunity to intervene, and the clinical pharmacy model all affect implementation.
This study provides a deeper understanding of the underlying behavioural determinants affecting physician prescriber implementation of pharmacist recommendations and will aid in the development of theoretically-informed interventions to improve medication appropriateness in hospitalised older adults.