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dc.titlePharmacist-operated drug information centres in Singapore
dc.contributor.authorLim, L.-Y.
dc.contributor.authorChui, W.-K.
dc.identifier.citationLim, L.-Y., Chui, W.-K. (1999). Pharmacist-operated drug information centres in Singapore. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 24 (1) : 33-42. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
dc.description.abstractObjective: Relatively little is known about the organized drug information centres (DICs) in Asia. Here we evaluate the four pharmacist-operated DICs in Singapore and compare them with published information on DICs located in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S., and with established guidelines for quality assurance of DICs. Methods: A prospective survey was conducted in 1996 in which two sets of questionnaires were developed and distributed to the DIC pharmacists to elicit information on the DIC as well as the DIC pharmacists. In addition, the enquiry records received by the DICs over the period 1 April to 31 July 1996 were collated for evaluation. Results: All the pharmacist-operated DICs in Singapore were well equipped with facilities for information retrieval, storage and dissemination, and they had adequate literature resources comparable with DICs in Australia, the U.K, and the U.S. They also complied with many of the DIC guidelines compiled by The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, except for the institution of formal quality assurance programmes, which was lacking in all centres. The professional activities of the local DIC pharmacists were also similar to their counterparts in Australia, the U.K, and U.S., but the job scope could be expanded to include other activities that are gaining impetus among other DIC pharmacists. Postgraduate professional training of pharmacists was inadequate compared with the specialist training received by DIC pharmacists in the U.S. A total of 2517 enquiries were collated for evaluation. Physicians were the major class (47-57%) of enquirers in the local hospitals. The classes of questions received by the DICs were not different from those received by DICs elsewhere, although the DICs in the hospitals received a preponderance of questions on dose (20-25%) and product availability (13-16%). More than 60% of enquiries received by the DICs in the hospitals were answered within 5 min, while about 80% of the enquiries required reference to not more than one literature resource. Conclusions: The pharmacist-operated DICs in Singapore have comparable standards to established DICs in Australia, the U.K. and U.S., while the workload and activities of the local DIC pharmacists are similar to their counterparts in these countries. It is recommended that the DICs institute formal quality assurance programmes and expand the training and job scope of the DIC pharmacists.
dc.description.sourcetitleJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
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