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BACKGROUND: In-hospital medication reviews are regularly performed. However, discontinuity in care could occur because secondary care providers lack insight into the outpatient history. Furthermore, for the implementation or follow-up of some medication review-based interventions, the help of primary care providers is essential. This requires interprofessional collaboration between secondary and primary care. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative study was to gain insight into the perceptions of primary and secondary care providers on interprofessional collaboration on medication reviews in hospitalised patients.
METHODS: Ten face-to-face semi-structured interviews and three focus group discussions were conducted with 20 healthcare providers from three hospitals and community health services. The interviews were aimed at exploring general practitioners', community pharmacists', geriatricians', and hospital pharmacists' experiences, attitudes, and views of interprofessional collaboration. Focus groups consisted of representatives of all professional groups. Through group discussion, interprofessional collaboration was explored by addressing three main questions: 1) What are the benefits of in-hospital medication reviews? 2) What are the barriers to in-hospital medication reviews from an interprofessional collaboration perspective? 3) Given the barriers mentioned, how should this interprofessional collaboration between primary and secondary care be designed? Data were analysed using a thematic-content approach.
RESULTS: The need for in-hospital medication reviews was underlined due to their many benefits, such as reducing potentially preventable re-admissions. Barriers regarding interprofessional collaboration between primary and secondary care can be subdivided into three main themes: 1) defining in-hospital medication reviews (e.g., lack of clear goals), 2) execution of medication reviews (e.g., hospital setting is dynamic), and 3) follow-up after discharge (e.g., unclear instructions). Care providers suggested solutions for each of the barriers mentioned, for example, by using supportive staff in order to overcome the gap between primary and secondary care providers and making clear agreements on proper means of communication.
CONCLUSION: Primary and secondary care providers recognise the importance of in-hospital medication reviews and the need for interprofessional collaboration. To create satisfying interprofessional collaboration, conditions should be met on defining in-hospital medication reviews across settings and involving both primary and secondary care providers in implementing medication reviews and organising their follow-up.