A survey of the need and desirability of establishing a drug information center in Houston
Providing drug information through an organized drug information center has become a new role for pharmacy in recent years. Most of these centers have been established in hospitals to serve the needs of the individual hospital. A search of the literature revealed that in only one hospital was a survey taken to determine the need for a drug information center prior to its establishment. The study in this thesis surveyed a sample of physicians and pharmacies in a defined geographic area to determine the need and/or desirability of a drug information center in Houston, Texas. Hospital pharmacies reported on two hundred and eighty-one drug information requests and community pharmacies reported on eighty-two drug information requests during a one month period. These requests were reported by the time of the day, day of the week, type of information requested, type of answer given to the request, and the pharmacist's opinion (pharmacist who received the request) as to the caller's satisfaction and his own satisfaction with his answer. The data from the pharmacy survey is reported but is not adequate to draw any conclusions pertinent to this study. The survey of a sample of doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy in Houston, Texas, gathered facts and opinions from the prime user of drug information. Of three hundred questionnaires mailed, more than forty-one per cent were returned completed. The facts and opinions gathered in the survey are reported in several tables. The most outstanding facts from this survey were: 1. More than ninety-four per cent of the physicians responding thought it was necessary for Houston to have a drug information center. 2. The main source of drug information currently used by this sample of physicians is the Physicians' Desk Reference, a biased source of information. The main conclusion to be drawn from this study is that ninety-four per cent of the physicians sampled desire to have a drug information center.