Hospitals store their drugs:
Medication is stored in a locked drawer in a patient room, automated dispensing cabinets, locked cabinets in a department, or locked refrigerators. Storing your medicines properly can help ensure they work properly and prevent poisoning accidents. Both excessive heat and cold can have a significant impact on how well prescription and over-the-counter medications do their job. While this may not be a big deal for a daily vitamin, the effects of a less effective heart medication or asthma inhaler can be fatal.
This survey found that 9% of hospitals had a pharmacist on call and 88% had a non-resident on-call service that provided advice and support for medication delivery outside pharmacy opening hours. When asked about the most commonly used medication storage for withdrawal of medicines at the time of administration, the majority (71; 72% of 98 respondents) stated that a bedside medicine cabinet, a medicine cart (15; 16%), medicine cabinets (10; 11%), and patients’ bedside table or items (2; 2%) are available. Article-level drug tracking can help those on the front lines of the pandemic, such as hospital pharmacists, nurses, and pharmacy technicians, by tracking drugs from manufacturer to patient, alerting hospital staff when levels of a particular drug are extremely low are, and rationing plans are organized for those who need the most in. Such divergences indicate that hospital-wide EPMA is in its infancy and that hospitals have implemented some central medication systems in different ways, particularly regarding the use of ward based drug storage and transportation systems and the use of double-check guidelines for specific drugs or groups of drugs.
Monitoring the use of different hospital medicine systems therefore not only makes it easier to prioritize potential NHS-wide interventions to increase drug safety, but also provides an indicator of the pace of change in the NHS. Overall, the majority of hospitals used paper inpatient prescriptions for the majority of medical and surgical inpatients (87% of usable responses), bedside medicine lockers (92%), ward inventory (94%), PODs (89%), and OSD (85%). There were also differences between and within the hospital in practices that were standard before the national introduction of PODs, OSD, and bedside medicine lockers. These included using drug carts to store and transport medicines, using other methods to transport drugs during drug rounds, and using non-OSD consumables for stationary use. Most hospitals used paper-based prescriptions in most medical and surgical wards (87% of hospitals), bedside medicine lockers (92%), their own medications (89%), and one-stop medications that match the administration instructions for use in the discharge and during inpatient stay (85%).
Hospitals are unable to treat their patients if they don’t have the medical and surgical care they need. The majority of hospitals used paper-based prescriptions (87%), bedside medicine lockers (92%), ward inventory (94%), PODs (89%), and OSD deliveries (85%) in most inpatient medical and surgical departments. Hospitals also varied in the use of drug carts to store medicines (59% of usable responses) on most medical and surgical wards, methods to transport drugs during medication rounds (between 8 and 65% for four different methods), and the use of non-OSD Assistive products for which they are medicines, for which during inpatient stay, are marked with the patient’s name, but not with instructions for use (50%). We therefore conducted a national survey of hospital medicine systems in English NHS hospitals to describe the systems and processes used in connection with drug delivery.
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