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Determining clinical pharmacy workload by patient disease classification in medical and surgical patients

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by P Stuchbery, D Kong, G DeSantis, Sing Lo
Aim: To determine the time needed to provide clinical pharmacy services to individual patient episodes for medical and surgical patients and the effect of patient presentation and complexity on the clinical pharmacy workload. Method: During a 5-month period in 2006 at two general hospitals, pharmacists recorded a defined range of activities that they provided for patients, including the actual times required for these tasks. A customised database linked to the two hospitals' patient administration systems stored the data according to the specific patient episode number. The influence of patient presentation and complexity on the clinical pharmacy activities provided was also examined. Results: The average time required by pharmacists to undertake a medication history interview and medication reconciliation was 9.6 (SD 4.9) minutes. Interventions required 5.7 (SD 4.6) minutes, clinical review of the medical record 5.5 (SD 4.0) minutes and medication order review 3.5 (SD 2.0) minutes. For all of these activities, the time required for medical patients was greater than for surgical patients and greater for 'complicated' patients. The average time required to perform all clinical pharmacy activities for 1071 completed patient episodes was 14.4 (SD 10.9) minutes and was greater for medical and 'complicated' patients. Conclusion: The time needed to provide clinical pharmacy services was affected by whether the patients were medical or surgical. The existence of comorbidities or complications affected these times. The times required to perform clinical pharmacy activities may not be consistent with recently proposed staff ratios for the provision of a basic clinical pharmacy service.

History

Journal

Journal of pharmacy practice and research

Volume

38

Pagination

126 - 131

Location

South Melbourne, Vic.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1445-937X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

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