Assessment of the use of a regional drug information service by community pharmacists

Sharon J. Fisher, Todd D. Sorensen, C. Brian Tuttle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Community pharmacy inquiries received by the Regional Drug Information Service (RDIS) affiliated with the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Drug Information Centre almost tripled between 1990 and 1995, placing significant pressure on staff and resources. A study was undertaken to determine whether the service was being used appropriately by this population. Inappropriate use was measured by identifying requests considered to be beyond the focus of RDIS, as well as those that could have been answered by the requesting practitioner using references expected to be found in a community pharmacy. Of 444 inquiries received during the study period, 56 were identified as inappropriate. Twelve requests did not pertain to drugs or pharmacotherapeutics, while the remaining 44 could have been answered using references from a core library. A survey of community pharmacies from which an inappropriate inquiry originated revealed that only 2 of these requests came from a pharmacy lacking the necessary core reference. This study indicates that the majority of inquiries received by RDIS from community pharmacists cannot be adequately answered using a core library alone; thus, inappropriate inquiries do not contribute substantially to the growing workload of RDIS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998


  • Community Pharmacy
  • Drug Information
  • Drug Information Service


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