Collaboration among healthcare providers: A needs assessment to improve the use of medication for patients with an impaired renal function during sick days.
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Abstract Background: Patients with an impaired renal function have an increased risk of developing AKI. This is more likely to happen when patients are at risk of dehydration, so called sick days, in combination with medication such as diuretics. That is why it is important to prevent this combination. Good collaboration between healthcare professionals could be one way to improve this. Aim: To investigate what healthcare providers need to improve their collaboration to manage the use of medication for patients with an impaired renal function during sick days. Method: Pharmacists, GPs and hospital-based physicians have participated in semi-structured interviews. The interview guide covered the following main topics: the errors surrounding the use of medication, the collaboration between the different healthcare providers, sick days,training requirements for the healthcare providers, and the provision of information to the patients. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Then the analysis was carried out using NVivo version 1.5.1. Results: The following main topics emerged from the results: communication, protocols and guidelines and requirements to optimize collaboration. On the one hand, the laboratory values were increasingly communicated between healthcare providers in the past few years. On the other hand, there was no communication about patients having a sick day. Also, there are currently no real guidelines that support the collaboration to manage the use of medication in patients with an impaired renal function during sick days. According to the caregivers, a guideline and improved care systems are needed in order to improve collaboration to prevent AKI. Conclusion: There are guidelines for the use of medication in patients with an impaired renal function. Agreements will have to be made in order to comply with these guidelines. In addition, a coordinated computer system could help to improve the collaboration during sick days.