Aim. To determine changes in numbers, demography and type of questions posed to the drug information service (DIS) at Christchurch Hospital over the last fifteen years. Methods. The database of the DIS was used to retrieve data for one-year periods including the period of establishment in 1985/1986, 1993/1994 and 1999/2000. Results. The number of questions per month increased from 26 in 1985/1986 to 284 in 1999/2000. The majority of questions have related to adverse drug reactions, contraindications/precautions, drug selections, interactions, and administration/dosage. Questions on drug interactions showed the greatest relative increase, from 8% to 19% of all questions. A disproportionate increase in requests came from primary care, which provided 14% of questions in 1985/1986 and 38% om 1999/2000. Computer databases are the major resource used currently whereas journal articles and textbooks dominated in 1985/1986. Conclusions. There has been a maked increase in use of the DIS despite a relatively constant population base. This may reflect an increased awareness of both the availability of the service and recognition of the complexity of medicines. The computer database is a useful reference source, decreasing repitition of search pathways and allowing audit to assist in the ongoing improvement of the service.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||New Zealand Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Sep 2001|