Nearly half of all inpatient pharmacists in the Calgary Health Region (as of March 1, 2007) completed the educational module and participated in the pre- and post-tests. Of the target population of 122 pharmacists working within inpatient dispensaries, 57 (46.7%) submitted test scores that could be evaluated. Although it is difficult to compare this small, closed-sample participation rate with that for a large, open-sample population, this participation rate was higher than those for other pharmacist education initiatives (10% and 22.5%).11,12 Whether the participating pharmacists were representative of the total population of inpatient pharmacists is difficult to analyze. Completion of the educational module was voluntary, and those who chose to participate might have been motivated by internal factors (e.g., higher lifelong learning values, personal interest in topic) and/or by factors more directly related to professionalism (e.g., need for continuing education credits, need to demonstrate workplace competency, support for hospital pharmacy residency).
Volunteers who are motivated to participate in continuing education may learn more effectively and therefore may not represent how the entire population would learn. About one-third of the participants had no more than 2 years of hospital pharmacy experience, which reflects the high number of newly hired pharmacists in the department. Many of these new employees were recent pharmacy school graduates, who might have been more willing to participate in a Web-based module with a test component. However, a high number of new employees can tax the ability of any department to provide comprehensive orientation, which underscores the practicality of an accessible, locally applicable self-study module. Barriers to participation might have included lack of time, low priority (i.e., more pressing issues at work), or fear (since responses were not recorded anonymously). Nonetheless, there were good participation rates at each urban acute care hospital within the region, and it appeared that pharmacists from a wide variety of clinical areas participated in the module. The Web-based design of the module made pharmacist participation more practical and even enabled educational outreach to several pharmacists working in rural satellite hospitals in the Calgary Health Region. Viagra Soft Tabs
The increases in mean test scores indicated that the module led to an increase in knowledge for the primary end points. This increase is important in practical terms, given that pharmacists do not have a lot of opportunities to learn about malaria and given that the questions were as realistic as possible from the perspective of an inpatient dispensary pharmacist. Qualitative feedback indicated that after completion of the module, users felt more comfortable in dealing with malaria orders. It is hoped that this will translate into better performance when pharmacists direct the distribution process for malaria medications and intervene, if needed. Prompt and appropriate management of malaria by all members of the health care team can reduce malaria-associated morbidity and mortality. By completing the educational module, pharmacists in the Calgary Health Region can learn how to directly contribute to the pharmaceutical care of patients with this disease.
Although no specific passing score was set for the pre- and post-tests, the average of all pharmacists’ pre-test scores was greater than 50%, which might indicate that baseline knowledge was higher than expected or, more likely, that the answers to the test questions could be readily deduced. There was also an indication that some pharmacists reviewed the educational materials before completing the pre-test. In retrospect, the ability to access the educational materials before taking the pre-test was a significant design flaw that might have biased the baseline results. However, because of lack of time and lack of Web expertise, it was impractical to assign user passwords or to deny pharmacists access to the education materials until they had completed the pre-test (since information in the module might be needed urgently in the event of an actual malaria case). Allowing timely access to educational materials when needed for the provision of patient care is an important issue that needs to be addressed in the design of subsequent pre-post test studies to prevent bias. canadian cialis