Documenting the clinical pharmacist's activities: back to basics

Drug Intell Clin Pharm. 1988 Jan;22(1):63-7. doi: 10.1177/106002808802200116.


The profession of pharmacy has applied the term "documentation" to count activities that more closely approximate descriptive protocols or administrative reports. This extended nonclinical use of the term documentation has resulted in the profession losing sight of a necessary step in the development, justification, and successful implementation of clinical pharmacy services. An instrument that helps to standardize the documentation of a clinical pharmacist's database, patient-care activities, and therapeutic plans is presented. This process, the pharmacist's workup of drug therapy (PWDT), consists of the following six interrelated steps: (1) establish a comprehensive patient-specific database; (2) identify patient-specific, drug-related problems; (3) describe desired therapeutic outcomes; (4) list all therapeutic alternatives that might produce the desired outcomes; (5) select the drug recommendation(s) that most likely will result in the desired outcomes; and (6) establish a plan for therapeutic drug monitoring that documents that desired effects occur and undesired effects are minimized. A formative method of documenting the clinical pharmacist's activities such as the PWDT must be functional on a daily basis in order to generate meaningful summative management reports.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Documentation / methods*
  • Drug Therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacology, Clinical / methods*