Educational material (EM) addresses particular safety information of medicinal products to healthcare professionals and patients. Since 2016, German national competent authorities label approved EM with a Blue Hand symbol. However, data is scarce regarding its usability as a safety communication tool in pharmacies to improve patient safety. The purpose of this study is to investigate for the first time pharmacists’ awareness and perception of EM in the setting of community and hospital pharmacies in Germany.
The Drug Commission of German Pharmacists surveyed its nationwide network of 677 community and 51 hospital reference pharmacies, to investigate their awareness and perception of EM. The survey was conducted between January 16 and February 10, 2020 using SurveyMonkey. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel.
A total of 373 community and 32 hospital pharmacists participated; response rates were 55.1% and 62.8%, respectively. Overall, 320 (85.8%) community and all hospital pharmacists confirmed awareness of EM. Community and hospital pharmacists fully (n = 172, 46.9% and n = 9, 28.1%) or rather (n = 109, 29.7% and n = 10, 31.3%) agreed that EM for healthcare professionals is suitable to reduce risks of medicinal products. Moreover, 237 (64.7%) community and 17 (53.1%) hospital pharmacists confirmed to inform patients or care facilities about EM. Asking pharmacists on their personal perception of EM, the refinement of readability and accessibility was indicated.
Pharmacists confirm awareness of EM and its suitability as a safety communication tool. However, from a pharmacists’ perspective, the applicability and readability of EM still needs further adjustment to improve patient safety.