Characteristics of ambulatory care clinics and pharmacists in Veterans Affairs medical centers. IMPROVE investigators. Impact of Managed Pharmaceutical Care on Resource Utilization and Outcomes in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1998 Jan 1;55(1):68-72. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/55.1.68.


The type and extent of ambulatory care clinical pharmaceutical services in selected Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs) were studied as part of a larger project. Questionnaires were sent to the 174 VAMCs to determine the extent of clinical pharmacy activity in ambulatory care clinics, characteristics of outpatient pharmacies and clinics, and characteristics of ambulatory care pharmacists in VAMCs and to identify sites for the IMPROVE (Impact of Managed Pharmaceutical Care on Resource Utilization and Outcomes in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers) project. Fifty VAMCs responded to the survey. There were 512 ambulatory care clinics within these VAMCs. There was some pharmacist coverage in 75% of the clinics. The highest pharmacist coverage was in walk-in refill, therapeutic drug monitoring, and anticoagulation clinics. Clinical pharmacists at 68% of the VAMCs had prescribing privileges in ambulatory care clinics. Clinical pharmacists managed 29.9% of the clinics. The types of clinics most commonly managed by pharmacists were therapeutic drug monitoring, anticoagulation, walk-in refill, and lipid clinics. Nurse practitioners or physician assistants also were providing primary care in 41% of the clinics. There were 242 ambulatory care clinical pharmacy specialists practicing in the 50 VAMCs. Of these, 41.3% had three years or less of ambulatory care experience. Most pharmacists were in the clinic five days per week. A Pharm.D. degree was the highest degree obtained for 76.9%. Ambulatory care pharmaceutical services are common in VAMCs and are being provided by numerous clinical pharmacists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Hospitals, Veterans / organization & administration*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States