To describe clinical home care services provided by Canadian pharmacists and to identify facilitators of and barriers to the provision of these services.
Home care practices in Canada were identified using key informant and snowball sampling methods. Case descriptions of each pharmacy were composed using data obtained via a faxed questionnaire and a follow-up telephone interview.
Community and institutional pharmacies across Canada.
Sixteen pharmacists with practices that met three criteria: at least one home visit conducted per week, visits conducted specifically for clinical purposes beyond routine prescription counseling, and documentation of home care services.
Faxed questionnaire and follow-up telephone interview.
Pharmacist characteristics, pharmacy characteristics, types of clinical home care services, home care-related products and dispensing services, referral system, reimbursement, barriers and facilitators, and evaluative strategies.
Twelve practices were in community pharmacies, nine of them independents. Home care services were provided primarily to address noncompliance and at the request of other health professionals. Elderly patients were the predominant service recipients. Services provided in most practices included compliance support, medication regimen review, monitoring of new medications, and patient education and training. Less than one-third of practices compiled evaluative data on these services. Most practices did not bill for services rendered. Lack of reimbursement was cited as the most important practice barrier, and having other sources of funding, such as high prescription revenues, was viewed as the major facilitator.
Clinical home care practice is rare in Canadian pharmacy; reimbursement is a major barrier. Practices described in these case studies were initiated to address a perceived important patient need. To enable further dissemination of clinical home care practice, pharmacists need to establish formal linkages with other home care providers, evaluate their services, and use the data obtained to develop marketing and reimbursement strategies.