Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine

Volume 9 Number 1, January 2002

An opinion survey on patient acceptance of a two-day medication supply policy in emergency departments

WF Tang, CH Chung, TSF Wu, KK Lai

Objective: To obtain an idea on patient acceptance of a two-day medication supply policy in emergency departments, an opinion survey was carried out at the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department of North District Hospital. Methods: Questionnaire were distributed to 200 ambulatory patients attending the A&E department on 4 April 2000, asking for their opinions on the reasonable duration of medication supply and its possible impact on emergency department misuse. The questionnaires were collected and the data analysed. Results: A total of 78 questionnaires (39%) were returned. Forty-nine respondents (62.8%) accepted that dispensing two days of medications from emergency departments reasonable. Ten out of the 27 patients who disagreed on two-day supply (37.0%) considered that a three-day supply would be optimal. More than half of the respondents (52.6%) agreed with the hypothesis that a two-day supply policy would discourage misuse of emergency department service. Conclusion: The great majority of patients attending A&E departments supported the prescription of two to three days supply of medication. This policy has important resource implication. However, its possible impact on misuse of emergency department service is controversial. (Hong Kong j.emerg.med. 2002;9:3-9)

Keywords : Drug prescriptions, emergency service, health care costs, health services misuse, patient satisfaction

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