Background Self-administration of medication is defined as “the independent use of a medication by a patient/service user in a manner that supports the management and administration of his/her own medications”. Previous research in the hospital has identified issues around patient and product suitability for self-administration and has suggested the need for standardisation of the self-administration process to improve compliance.
Purpose The aims of this change project were (a) to develop a patient suitability assessment proforma and patient information leaflet for self-administering patients and (b) to pilot these forms with self-administering patients and nursing staff on one ward of the hospital.
Material and methods The Health Service Executive Change Model was used to carry out this change project. Key stakeholders were engaged through surveys and focus groups. Feedback was used to develop two forms: (a) a patient suitability assessment that examines the patient’s health status and capability for self-administration, and the suitability of the medication for self-administration by the patient; and (b) a patient information leaflet that outlines the patient’s responsibilities while self-administering medication, and that the patient must sign to agree to these responsibilities. The forms were piloted on patients self-administering inhalers and/or phosphate binders on the renal ward of the hospital. Data were collected on patient demographics and suitability, product suitability and storage, and compliance with the prescription chart before and after pilot implementation, and the results were compared.
Results 11 patients self-administering 18 products were assessed during pre-implementation data collection. 6 patients using 9 products were assessed using the forms post-implementation and 100% were deemed suitable. Product suitability increased from 55% to 100%. Compliance with the prescription and recording requirements also improved post-change from 30.1% to 86.1%. Pharmacists, nurses and patients found the forms easy and quick to use, taking an average of 5 min to complete.
Conclusion The positive results of the pilot could have a future impact on patient safety and compliance. However, this is only a preliminary step towards the ultimate goal of developing a self-administration policy. A larger pilot in conjunction with a draft policy is necessary to finalise the forms and to standardise the process of self-administration within the hospital.
No conflict of interest.
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