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4CPS-016 Experiences, views and attitudes of hospital nursing staff towards the implementation of the unit dose dispensing system for inpatients: a qualitative interview study
  1. T Drechsel1,
  2. A Weidmann1,
  3. T Steindl-Schönhuber2,
  4. G Gittler2
  1. 1Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy, Innsbruck, Austria
  2. 2Barmherzige Brüder Hospital, Pharmacy, Linz, Austria


Background and Importance Medication errors pose a major economic problem and, more importantly, a major cause of avoidable harm in medical care. With the Global ‘Patient safety action plan 2021–2023’ the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for a rethink of processes and structures within the healthcare system to ensure optimal patient safety. One such optimisation measure could be the introduction of the Unit dose dispensing system (UDDS), which is thought to have multiple benefits from avoidance of medication errors to improved patient autonomy.

Aim and Objectives To determine hospital nurses’ attitudes towards the UDDS, examine their perceptions of opportunities and barriers in everyday practice and explore their experiences with its implementation.

Material and Methods A prospective qualitative interview study with 23 nurses from the Barmherzige Brüder Hospital Linz, Austria was conducted. The validated and piloted semi-structured interview guide was based on existing literature, best practice guidelines for qualitative interview studies and the constructs of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and mapped against the Framework of Implementation of Services in Pharmacy (FISpH) by two researchers independently.

Results Nurses’ satisfaction with the UDDS was high as it affords them a considerable time saving, ease of use in daily practice and reduced workload. Furthermore, UDDS is considered to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety. However, the study also revealed challenges mainly concerning medication changes and non-blistered medication – often resulting in re-dispensing the UDDS blisters into individual patient dosette boxes – as well as mechanical handling of the blisters. Nurses are concerned about the decline in their personal medication knowledge. Reduced stock levels on the wards save time and resources but can pose inconveniences for nursing staff. Several possibilities for improvement of the workflow, training and communication between ward staff and pharmacy could be identified.

Conclusion and Relevance Results show that the UDDS provides several significant benefits to nursing staff. In addition patient safety is thought to have improved. Cooperation of all hospital stakeholders with ward nurses is of immense importance to further advance the UDDS. These results may be of interest. to any hospital/pharmacy management planning to implement a UDDS.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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