Qualitative study on medication delivery services (MDS): perspective of pharmacists and caregivers

Thavamani A/P Madhivanan, Mariani Ahmad Nizaruddin and Shaharuddin Abdul Rashid

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Cyberjaya, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

*Corresponding author email: mariani@cyberjaya.edu.my


Introduction: Face to face communication between pharmacist and patient in a pharmacy is the best optimum and safest way of dispensing and delivering medications by a licensed pharmacist to a patient. Increasingly more common due to technological advances and the Covid-19 pandemic, medication delivery services are carried out at hospitals and community pharmacies as one of the value-added services (VAS) provided for patients’ medicines supply.

Objective(s): The aim of the study was to explore opinions regarding medication delivery services (MDS) from the perspective of the pharmacist and caregivers and to identify issues in providing MDS.

Methodologies: This purposive sampled qualitative study involved interviewing pharmacists and caregivers who have participated in medication delivery service (MDS). Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim.

Results: Three themes emerged, namely factors influencing accessibility in MDS, favorable clinical outcomes and issues arising in MDS. The subthemes of factors influencing accessibility in MDS were distance, ability to travel, convenience, time, money and medication preference. The subthemes of beneficial clinical outcome were improved compliance and better continuity of medicine supply. The subthemes of issues emerged were increased resources, delay, technological barriers and new workflow.

Conclusion: Medication delivery service (MDS) provides many benefits to patients and health care providers. There were only a few issues that emerged from the health care providers but those were minimal and manageable.

Keywords: Medication delivery service (MDS); value-added service; pharmacist; innovation; technology