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The impact of a pharmacy technician on medicines management and skill mix at the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Division of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Therapy.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The impact of a pharmacy technician on medicines management and skill mix at the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital

Marika Callmar

Division for Pharmacokinetics and Drug Therapy, 30 hp. Examiner: Margareta Hammarlund-Udenaes. Supervisor: Prof. Michael Scott, Head of Pharmacy & Medicines Management NHSCT, Northern Ireland.

Introduction: It has previously been shown that integrating pharmaceutical care in hospitals reduces the average length of hospital stay and number of readmissions, which leads to cost savings. To enable pharmaceutical care at an early stage, the pharmacists in the Emergency Department (ED) must be freed from non-clinical tasks, such as stock management and dispensing medicines. These tasks are better performed by a pharmacy technician. A pharmacy technician can also manage patients own drugs (PODs) that are brought in to ED instead of relying on nurses to undertake this task.

Aim:  The aim of the study was to investigate if medicines management is improved by introducing a pharmacy technician in the ED. Improving medicines management may improve the treatment of patients as well as reduce costs for the hospital.

Materials and Methods:  Improvements in medicines management were measured in two ways. Data was gathered on how much time the pharmacists spent on different tasks to investigate if a better skill mix in ED could free time for pharmaceutical care. Information regarding storage of any PODs brought in to ED and whether they were transferred with the patient was also gathered. This was compared before and after introducing a technician in ED.

 Results:  The percentage of time the pharmacists spent on stock management was cut in half, which corresponded to a 5.2 % decrease of their total working time. No other time changes due to the introduction of a technician were observed. The number of correctly stored PODs was increased by 37.9 % but no significant improvement was seen regarding PODs transferred to the wards.

Conclusions:  Introducing a technician in ED can improve the management of PODs. In order to achieve time savings for the pharmacists the skill mix must be further assessed.

Abstract [sv]

På Antrim Area Hospital (Nordirland) arbetar farmaceuter tillsammans med läkare i egenskap av läkemedelsexperter. Farmaceuterna gör bl.a. läkemedelsgenomgångar, d.v.s. upprättar en korrekt lista över alla läkemedel patienten använder och identifierar eventuella problem. På akutmottagningen spenderar dock farmaceuterna mycket tid på uppgifter som skulle kunna utföras av en apotekstekniker istället.

En apotekstekniker i Nordirland är expert på hantering av läkemedelslager och har genomgått en mer omfattande utbildning än svenska apotekstekniker. De kan även hjälpa till med läkemedelsgenomgångar, men då krävs en särskild utbildning. De hanterar också patientens egna läkemedel som patienterna tar med sig till akutmottagningen. Läkemedlen kan användas för att behandla patienten under sjukhusvistelsen, men det är viktigt att de förvaras på rätt sätt.

Syftet med studien var att ta reda på om farmaceuternas arbetsbörda minskade av att anställa en apotekstekniker. En effektivare arbetsfördelning möjliggör bättre behandling av patienter och sparar pengar för sjukhuset. Tiden farmaceuterna spenderade på varje uppgift mättes och jämfördes före och efter apoteksteknikern. Det undersöktes också om hanteringen av patientens egna läkemedel förbättrades. Förvaringen av patienternas egna läkemedel i akutmottagningen och om de flyttades med patienten noterades och jämfördes.

Med en apotekstekniker kunde tiden som spenderades på läkemedelslagret halveras. I övrigt påverkades inte farmaceutens arbete och resurserna skulle kunna utnyttjas bättre. En förbättring var att patientens egna läkemedel förvarades rätt i 37,9% av fallen med apoteksteknikern, jämfört med 0 % innan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 28 p.
Keyword [en]
pharmacy technician, clinical pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, medicines management, skill mix, emergency department, ED, pharmacy services
Keyword [sv]
apotekstekniker, klinisk farmaceut, läkemedelshantering, kompetensoptimering, akutmottagning, farmaceutisk kompetens
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260020DiVA: diva2:846030
External cooperation
Northern Health and Social Care Trust Antrim Area Hospital
Educational program
Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-08-17 Created: 2015-08-13 Last updated: 2015-08-17Bibliographically approved

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