In many countries, clinical pharmacists are part of health care teams that work to optimize drug therapy and ensure patient safety. However, in Sweden, clinical pharmacy services (CPSs) in hospital settings have not been widely implemented and regional differences exist in the uptake of these services. Physicians' attitudes toward CPSs and collaborating with clinical pharmacists may facilitate or hinder the implementation and expansion of the CPSs and the role of the clinical pharmacist in hospital wards. The aim of this study was to explore physicians' perceptions regarding CPSs performed at hospital wards in Northern Sweden.
Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of nine physicians who had previously worked with clinical pharmacists between November 2014 and January 2015. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and analysed using a constant comparison method.
Different themes emerged regarding physicians' views of clinical pharmacy; two main interlinked themes were service factors and pharmacist factors. The service was valued and described in a positive way by all physicians. It was seen as an opportunity for them to learn more about pharmacological treatment and also an opportunity to discuss patient medication treatment in detail. Physicians considered that CPSs could improve patient outcomes and they valued continuity and the ability to build a trusting relationship with the pharmacists over time. However, there was a lack of awareness of the CPSs. All physicians knew that one of the pharmacist's roles is to conduct medication reviews, but most of them were only able to describe a few elements of what this service encompasses. Pharmacists were described as "drug experts" and their recommendations were perceived as clinically relevant. Physicians wanted CPSs to continue and to be implemented in other wards.
All physicians were positive regarding CPSs and were satisfied with the collaboration with the clinical pharmacists. These findings are important for further implementation and expansion of CPSs, particularly in Northern Sweden.
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