Background The role of hospital pharmacists is changing worldwide. Pharmacists are becoming more and more involved in the treatment of patients and the provision of pharmaceutical care (PC). Consequently, increased numbers of pharmacists in hospitals are necessary and/or better organisation of traditional activities.
Purpose To identify the number and categories of pharmaceutical services and time frame for such activities in order to improve the organisation of pharmaceutical services in hospitals.
Materials and Methods The research was conducted in 21 hospital pharmacies out of 61. Data were collected through a questionnaire, which contained 51 pharmaceutical services classified into 12 categories. Services were defined by the Section for hospital pharmacies in Serbia in accordance with the conclusions of the global conference regarding the future of hospital pharmacy (Basel 2008).
Pharmacists were asked if they practise certain types of service, how often and how much time they consume for each service they practise.
Results The average number of pharmacists in a hospital pharmacy was two but varied between 1 and 6. A pharmacist provided on average 30 services per day (15–42). On average during workdays pharmacists devoted most of their time to: data processing (28%; 2.1 h), dispensing drugs (23%; 2 h), ordering (12%; 1 h) and supply (10%; 45 min), while the share related to PC was only 8% or 35 minutes per day.
Conclusions The results of research showed that supply and storage of medicines are the most frequent and time-consuming activities. Therefore, not enough time is left for patients and PC. Finally, in order to improve pharmaceutical activities in Serbia it is necessary to increase the number of pharmacists in hospitals, consolidate procurement across the region and streamline data processing services.
No conflict of interest.
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