The impact of a pilot continuing professional development module on hospital pharmacists' preparedness to provide contemporary advice on the clinical use of vancomycin

Cameron Phillips, Alice Wisdom, Vaughn Eaton, Richard Woodman, Ross McKinnon

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Revised international clinical guidelines for the antibiotic vancomycin have changed the advice pharmacists need to provide to medical and nursing colleagues. Objectives: (1) To determine the self-reported confidence of hospital pharmacists to provide contemporary advice on vancomycin and (2) to evaluate hospital pharmacists’ knowledge to provide contemporary advice on vancomycin following a pilot continuing professional development (CPD) module. Methods: The study was a prospective two-phase design in an Australian teaching hospital. Phase one: a survey of pharmacist self-reported confidence to eight questions on providing contemporary advice on vancomycin. Responses were recorded using a Likert scales. Phase two: The provision of a pilot online CPD module on vancomycin containing knowledge-based assessment based on a clinical vignette. Likert scales recorded self-reported confidence were reported as median and interquartile range (IQR). Knowledge assessment was reported using descriptive statistics. The main outcome measure were the self-reported confidence, and knowledge of pharmacists regarding provision of contemporary advice on clinical vancomycin use. Results: Response rates for surveys; confidence n = 35 (72.9 %) and knowledge n = 31 (58.5 %). Phase one: confidence was highest regarding vancomycin dosing and monitoring with 71.4–81.6 % of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they were confident in these domains. Respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing were least confident regarding intravenous administration and infusion related reactions, 57.1 and 45.7 % respectively. Respondents who provided advice on vancomycin >10 times in the prior 12 months reported significantly higher confidence in; therapeutic range 1 (IQR 1–2) versus 2 (IQR 1–3) p = 0.02; amending dosage based on therapeutic drug monitoring results 2 (IQR 1–3) versus 3 (IQR 2–3) p = <0.001, and providing general advice to prescribers on vancomycin 2 (IQR 1–3) versus 2 (IQR 2–4) p = <0.009. Knowledge questions were answered correctly post CPD by >75 % of pharmacists. Conclusion: Pharmacists’ self-reported confidence to managing vancomycin was variable but generally high. Knowledge scores were consistently high after pharmacists completed a pilot CPD module on vancomycin. These data provides impetus for a randomised controlled study across multiple sites to determine the extent to which pharmacist knowledge on vancomycin can be attributed to completion of an online CPD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number331
    Number of pages8
    JournalSpringer Plus
    Issue number331
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


    • Antibiotic
    • Confidence
    • Continuing education
    • Continuing professional development
    • Knowledge
    • Vancomycin


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