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The impact of implementing a pharmacy technician role as part of a nursing team in an acute admissions unit
  1. Nabil El-Fahimi1,
  2. Michelle Dube1,
  3. Kyle Savage2,
  4. Paul Elsender1,
  5. Colin Costello1,
  6. Wendy Rojas3,
  7. Miguel Angel Calleja4
  1. 1 Pharmacy, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincoln, UK
  2. 2 Acute Admissions Unit, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincoln, UK
  3. 3 Medical Emergency Admissions Unit, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincoln, UK
  4. 4 Pharmacy, Universitary Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nabil El-Fahimi, Pharmacy, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincoln LN2 4AX, UK; nabiloph{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Background The National Patient Safety Agency reported over 20 000 safety incidents over a 3-year period, including 68 severe harms and 27 deaths. Dose delays and omissions persistently contributed to more than 50% of the reported incidents.

Methods A pilot was designed and data were collected before and after to measure how these ward-based technician roles affected the reporting of omitted or delayed doses, time efficiency, cost implications and the general productivity of the ward.

Results Three months after the start of the pilot, omitted doses were reduced from 14% to 5% and no incidents of harm had been reported. The ‘perfect medication ward round’ with no interruptions lasted 23 min compared with the longest medication ward round which lasted 116 min and was interrupted 11 times.

Conclusions The pilot shows that the introduction of pharmacy technicians results in fewer omitted doses and also addresses persistent staffing issues by ensuring better use of nursing time.

  • pharmacy
  • technician
  • patient safety
  • drug administration
  • ward-based
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