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Open Access Correspondence

The Queensland experience of participation in a national drug use evaluation project, Community-acquired pneumonia – towards improving outcomes nationally (CAPTION)

Lisa K Pulver1*, Susan E Tett2 and Judith Coombes13

Author Affiliations

1 School of Pharmacy, Steele Building, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

2 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland, Edith Cavell Building, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Queensland, Australia

3 Pharmacy Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Ipswich Rd, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2009, 9:38  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-9-38

Published: 3 August 2009



Multicentre drug use evaluations are described in the literature infrequently and usually publish only the results. The purpose of this paper is to describe the experience of Queensland hospitals participating in the Community-Acquired Pneumonia Towards Improving Outcomes Nationally (CAPTION) project, specifically evaluating the implementation of this project, detailing benefits and drawbacks of involvement in a national drug use evaluation program.


Emergency departments from nine hospitals in Queensland, Australia, participated in CAPTION, a national quality improvement project, conducted in 37 Australian hospitals. CAPTION was aimed at optimising prescribing in the management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia according to the recommendations of the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic 12th edition. The project involved data collection, and evaluation, feedback of results and a suite of targeted educational interventions including audit and feedback, group presentations and academic detailing.

A baseline audit and two drug use evaluation cycles were conducted during the 2-year project. The implementation of the project was evaluated using feedback forms after each phase of the project (audit or intervention). At completion a group meeting with the hospital coordinators identified positive and negative elements of the project.


Evaluation by hospitals of their participation in CAPTION demonstrated both benefits and drawbacks. The benefits were grouped into the impact on the hospital dynamic such as; improved interdisciplinary working relationships (e.g. between pharmacist and doctor), recognition of the educational/academic role of the pharmacist, creation of ED Pharmacist positions and enhanced involvement with the National Prescribing Service, and personal benefits. Personal benefits included academic detailing training for participants, improved communication skills and opportunities to present at conferences. The principal drawback of participation was the extra burden on already busy staff members.


A national multicentre drug use evaluation project such as CAPTION allows hospitals which would otherwise not undertake such projects the opportunity to participate. The Queensland arm of CAPTION demonstrated benefits to both the individual participants and their hospitals, highlighting the additional value of participating in a multicentre project of this type.