Background We have all experienced drug shortages for different reasons, such as licence withdrawals, lack of raw materials, etc. Following internal suggestions in cooperation with the Vienna Health Association an alteration list of drug changes was introduced as a standard process. This chart is updated daily and is posted on the opening intranet website of a 720-bed hospital.
Purpose To find out via a survey how health care professionals are affected by such drug supply interruptions, what ideas they have to reduce the harm to their patients, what suggestions and management they expect from the pharmacy and the manufacturer.
Materials and Methods This survey was done on different wards covering the following aspects:
recognition level/benefit of the up-to-date drug changes list
use/knowledge of various pharmaceutical services
requests/solutions in the recurrent cases of certain drug shortages in our hospital.
Results 77 people (23 physicians and 54 nurses) answered the survey. Half of them were conscious of varying drug shortages (rating scale 0–5) being a worldwide problem. Only 50% recognised the data provided on the hospital in-house homepage.
The survey focused on proposals to cope with missing drugs. It noted two essential categories:
importance of pharmaceutical services on the wards
logistics: the responsibility manufacturers and the pharmacy to immediately inform them of drug shortages, optimal cooperation with other health care providers
cooperation and teaching of the patient
Conclusions The ward staff are not at all aware of the worldwide drug shortages. The positive impact of the clinical pharmacy service was mentioned by nearly everyone.
No conflict of interest.
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