Background The unit dose drug distribution system (UDDS) has been associated with an increase in patient safety and is considered an essential part of drug distribution. However, adoption of new technologies that allow real time changes in patient treatment may influence the safety associated when this system is performed once a day.
Purpose To evaluate the hospital UDDS.
Material and methods A 1 week study performed in 5 wards of a tertiary university 431 bed hospital in 2015. Two surgical and three medical wards were included. The UDDS was performed every day from 13:00 to 15:00. Data collected: unit doses and active principles dispensed for 24 h; unit doses and active principles returned to the pharmacy from the 24 h cycle; admitted and discharged patients with medication not included in the UDDS; and changes in patient treatment out of the UDDS.
Conclusion About one-fifth of the distributed unit doses were returned to the pharmacy daily. These returned units corresponded to more than 25% of the dispensed active principles.
Admitted and discharged patients, and prescription changes out of the UDDS, were the main factors that contributed to this high variability in hospitalised patient medication.
Newer strategies are needed to optimise the UDDS in order to ensure the safety of this medication distribution process.
References and/or Acknowledgements
American Society of Hospital Pharmacists. ASHP statement on unit dose drug distribution. Am J Hosp Pharm 1989;46:2346
References and/or AcknowledgementsNo conflict of interest.