Introduction Previous studies recognise insufficient time as an obstacle to pharmacists expanding their clinical-based activities and services. For such a reason, the role of well-trained ward-based clinical pharmacy technicians (CPTs) is to work as an integral part of the pharmacy team to achieve the best patient outcomes and medicines optimisation, releasing pharmacist time to complete more complex clinical-related activities.
Objective To demonstrate quantitatively the range and extent of daily activities undertaken by CPTs during a patient’s hospital journey.
Method A prospective-based study has been designed. All daily working services and activities undertaken by ward-based CPTs within a 450-bed Acute District General hospital were quantitatively collected and documented. Data were collected from five medical, two surgical and one cardiology wards of 30 beds in each over a period of 2 weeks for each ward representing a total of 70 working days (14 weeks, excluding weekends).
Results Results showed the breakdown of seven different ward-based activities throughout a typical working day with the main working load being reviews of the patients’ medication charts in order to supply new medicines and refer medicines-related issues to the ward pharmacist, with an average number reviewed of (23.17±0.85) representing 77.23% of the total patients in a 30-bed ward. The CPTs’ highest workload was on Mondays and Fridays, mainly during the morning working hours (09:00–12:00). Also, statistically significant differences (p<0.05; Kruskal-Wallis test) existed between the workload of the three different ward specialties (medical, surgical and cardiology) in five clinical activities out of seven undertaken by CPT per day.
Conclusion CPTs are completing more than seven different ward pharmacy-related activities which enhance medicines optimisation, medicines management and patient care. They are a valuable resource carrying out many roles which were previously completed by junior pharmacists. Their prioritising of patients for review ensures pharmacists focus their efforts on the most vulnerable patients.
- clinical pharmacy services
- clinical pharmacy technicians
- patient journey
- pharmacy workforce
- medicines management
- medicines optimisation
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