Background In our hospital, the unit dose drug distribution (UDDD) is manual and centralised.
The UDDD packing desk was fitted out in a dedicated but not isolated area inside the medicine stock room.
Purpose To assess the efficiency of clear corrective actions determined and implemented following the evaluation of the recurrence of task interruptions (TI) during UDDD.
Material and methods The first phase was a prospective study performed using a specially elaborated grid.
We released corrective actions from preliminary results:
modification of the modalities of the anticipated provision of single doses;
updating of the UDDD procedure, introducing new rules such as wearing a specific orange vest, banning the use of personal phones and resuming at the beginning of an TI; and3. isolating the preparation zone, and starting to plan earlier, from 07:00 instead of 09:00 (less traffic).
In the second phase, we re-assessed the practices.
Results The average duration of the preparation of UDDD decreased from 4 to 2.5 h, which translated into a gain of more than 37%. During this time, the pharmacy assistants (PA) were able to be redeployed to other activities.
On the whole, in the second phase of the study, only 7 TI were reported (compared with 163 during the first phase) which was a decrease of 95.7% on the number of TI. We reduced 1 TI every 8 min to 1 TI every 107 min. The final controls highlighted that the average number of errors detected per morning was halved (-55.5%) from 1.8 to 0.8.
With regards to continuation of the activity, each TI was taken back to the beginning to complete the activity.
Conclusion The corrective actions that we implemented improved the quality of the work of the PA and secured the medication use system.
Due to corrective actions not being entirely satisfactory for certain points, it will be necessary to update the procedure of the UDDD and we will re-assess the practices a third time.
It would be interesting to adapt our grid to other organisations in order to widen this work to other teams and strengthen our results.
No conflict of interest.