Introduction The costs with medications are paramount in health organisations. This is particularly important for Willow Wood, a small community Hospice.
Hypothesis Increasing staff awareness on the cost of medications can lead to savings.
Objective To reduce medication costs in 10% from 2013–2014 to 2014–2015.
Methodology Intervention audit conducted at Willow Wood Hospice.
The pre-intervention stage involved:
Documenting the monthly cost of prescription bills during 2013–2014;
Identifying the 30 most expensive drugs in each month;
Examining the use of unlicensed medications;
Adjusting the list of stock medications;
Development of new medication charts to improve prescribing and medicines reconciliation;
Monitoring take home medications on discharge.
Interventions were then implemented by presenting the pre-intervention findings in a power point presentation which was repeated at different days/times to reach almost all members of staff.
Pharmacy leads were named to help guide prescribing, administration and stocking of drugs on a daily basis.
The monthly drug bill was displayed at the Inpatient Unit and this was discussed at each Doctors meetings.
Post intervention, data on the monthly drug bill was collated for a further year.
Results In the financial year 2013–2014, the total prescribing cost was £26.246,09; in 2014–2015, the total was £18.579,84. The interventions led to savings of approximately 30%.
Discussion Raising staff awareness and a simple reminder such as displaying the monthly costings bill to professionals helped to keep the costs down.
Limitations of this project included: bed occupancy and different individual patient needs were not taken into accountwhich could influence prescribing costs. The formal debrief conducted on the ward wasn't presented to all members of staff.
Conclusion The importance of multidisciplinary team working cannot be overemphasised in achieving quite significant savings. In the future, we will continue to work to keep the medication costs levelled without compromising patients care.
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