The progress in aging and the shortage of physicians is a significant problem in Japan. Hence, healthcare professionals including pharmacists should cooperate to provide medical services with limited resources. However, pharmacists might have inadequate skills in taking medical histories. Therefore, we developed an interview tool to collect accurate medical history. In this study, we aimed to validate the contents of medical histories taken by a pharmacist using the interview tool and investigate physician consultation length.
Setting intervention days alternately, adult outpatients of the Kitaibaraki Center for Family Medicine who had new symptoms had their medical histories taken by one of two pharmacists before their physician visit during the study period. The contents of the medical history taken by a pharmacist using text analysis were validated on other four days. All sentences collected by a pharmacist or five physicians were divided into segments, and six other physicians assessed each segment. Differences in length of the physician consultation between those with and without (intervention and control groups, respectively) medical history taken by a pharmacist were investigated.
Of 23 patients’ medical histories taken by a pharmacist using the interview tool, 84.4% of segments were related to the clinical diagnosis. The mean consultation length was 10.1±8.4 minutes in the intervention group (n=104) and 13.0±10.4 minutes in the control group (n=96) (p=0.048).
Medical histories taken by a pharmacist using the interview tool had high content validity and might reduce physician consultation length.