The post-discharge medicine use review (dMUR), a service used by community pharmacists to make it easier for patients to understand their treatment and resolve any problems they have with their medicines after their release from hospital, is “poorly utilised” according to researchers.
A study, published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, found that written and verbal information to encourage patients to use the dMUR, a commissioned service in England and Wales, “had minimal impact.”
One hundred patients in total were recruited to the study and of the 84 who were interviewed, 89% chose not to access the dMUR. Sixty-six out of 75 patients said they did not plan to access the service in future.
Nine patients tried to access the dMUR four weeks after their discharge, with three failing to get an appointment and one not receiving a review because the pharmacist was on holiday.
Thirty-five per cent of patients said they had difficulties getting to a pharmacy while 19% regarded their GP “as their primary source of information” and did not feel they needed a dMUR “because their medicines would be reviewed by the GP or specialist.”
Nineteen per cent of patients said they would consider a dMUR if invited to do so by a pharmacist while 16% would think about the service if they had concerns about their medicines.
Poor mobility and morbidity were the most common reasons patients gave for not accessing a dMUR.
“Routinely available domiciliary dMURs should be commissioned to improve the accessibility of the service to all patients,” the study concluded.
Researchers from East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Bradford and Medway School of Pharmacy at the universities of Kent and Greenwich took part in the study.
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