Background Worldwide, medication administration errors (MAEs) affect a median estimate of 19.1% doses administered or omitted in hospitals (Keers, Williams, Cooke, et al., 2013. Ann Pharmacother.47:237). Doses given at the wrong time and dose omissions are among the most common MAE subtypes observed and the risk of omitted and delayed doses to patients can be life-threatening (Berdot, Gillaizeau, Caruba, et al., 2013. PLoS One 8:e68856; Lord Carter of Coles. Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations. 2016). It has been suggested that greater involvement from pharmacy teams could help address this problem (Morley, McLeod, McKenzie, et al., 2016. Drugs Ther. Perspect. 32:203; Boughen, Sutton, Fenn et al., 2017. Pharmacy. 5:40).
Aim To determine the impact of using pharmacy technicians to administer medication and provide support to the wider healthcare team. To evaluate the acceptability via feedback evaluation \with nursing, medical and management stakeholders. To identify future roles through discussion with relevant managers.
Method Employment of two experienced MATs (minimum 5 years’ experience at ward level, accredited in Medicines Management (MMT) and Accredited Checking Technician (ACT)). Completion of in-house mandatory training, MAT and medicines management assessment. Service evaluation, feedback and medication incident reports.
Results Reduced staffing pressures, reduction in medication wastage and improved use of patients’ own drugs. Improved patient understanding of their medication with identification of a need to provide patients with an ‘easy to read’ list of their medication on discharge. Increased awareness of medication incidents.
Identification of new roles in mentoring and training wider healthcare team.
Conclusion Demonstrated the importance of this role with improved access to pharmaceutical advice for the wider healthcare team. Early identification of patient pharmaceutical needs allows a more efficient discharge process. Identified the feasibility importance of a MAT as a future role for all palliative ward settings. Future development in relation to systems and procedures will improve operationalisation of technician-led initiatives.
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