Drug Information Center as Referral Service in a South Indian Tertiary Care Hospital
Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the various aspects of drug information services (DISs) provided in the DI center of a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: DI queries received from various departments from April 2013 to May 2017 were included in the study. Various aspects such as year- and department-wise distribution, reason for sending the queries, mode of receipt and reply, time taken for reply, number of visit for bedside examination of patients, and number of references given per query were analyzed. All the results are expressed in numbers and percentages. Results: Fifty-five DI queries were received during the study period. Most of the queries were received from Department of Orthopedics (26, 47.27%), followed by Neurology (4, 7.27%). Most common mode of receipt of queries (41, 74.55%) was by Cross-reference form not case record form followed by phone calls (8, 14.55%) and outpatient department (OPD) case sheet (6, 10.9%). CRF with attached opinion was the most common mode of reply (41, 74.55%) followed by phone calls (7, 12.73%), and OPD case sheets (6, 10.9%). The most common reason for sending queries was antimicrobials-related problem (25, 45.46%), followed by the use of anticoagulants (13, 23.63%). Most of the queries were replied within 24 h (31, 56.36%), followed by 48 h (14, 25.45%). Out of 41 CRF received for in-patients, bedside examination was requested in 23 (56.09%) CRF. There was an increasing trend in the number of queries received every year with more queries received during 2016 (23, 41.82%). Conclusions: DIS if utilized properly can be used as a referral service such as other specialties in a tertiary care hospital.