Community pharmacy managers' perception of computerized drug-drug interaction alerts

Jacob Abarca, Daniel C. Malone, Grant H. Skrepnek, Rick A. Rehfeld, John E. Murphy, Amy J. Grizzle, Edward P. Armstrong, Raymond L. Woosley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine community pharmacists' attitudes toward computerized drug-drug interaction (DDI) alerts and identify factors associated with more favorable perceptions of these alerts. Design: Cross-sectional postal survey. Setting: 18 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States. Participants: 3,000 community pharmacy managers. Interventions: 34-item survey instrument designed to collect data about the pharmacy including demographics, workload issues, handling of DDIs, and pharmacists' attitudes toward computerized DDI alerts. Main Outcome Measure: Responses to items concerning community pharmacy managers' attitudes toward DDI alerts and factors associated with more favorable attitudes toward these alerts. Results: A total of 736 usable surveys were returned (25.3% response rate). Pharmacy managers generally disagreed that DDI alerts were a waste of time (mean ± SD, 2.1 ± 1.1 on a scale of 1, strongly disagree, to 6, strongly agree). However, they were not completely confident that their computer systems provided them with meaningful DDI alerts (mean ± SD, 4.5 ± 1.2). They were confident in their ability to identify DDIs (mean ± SD, 4.9 ± 0.9) and discuss DDIs with physicians (mean ± SD, 5.2 ± 0.7). Pharmacy software that provided detailed DDI information as well as the ability to customize DDI alerts were associated with more favorable perceptions of DDI alerts. Conclusion: Despite being presented with a large proportion of clinically unimportant alerts, community pharmacy managers did not believe DDI alerts were meaningless or a waste of time. Incorporation of features that streamline DDI alerts may improve their effectiveness in community pharmacy practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Automation
  • Community and ambulatory pharmacy
  • Drug interactions
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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