Pharmacy Practice vol:8 issue:Supplement 1 pages:117-118
International Social Pharmacy Workshop edition:16 location:Lisbon date:23-26 August 2010
Objective: Automatic drug dispensing systems (ADS) allow patient-specific, unit-dose packaging of medication. They claim to provide cheaper, more efficient and safer drug management (1). However, little is known about health care providers’ (HCPs) expectations or the perceived problems when introducing ADS in a non-hospital environment. Therefore, we studied HCPs views regarding ADS introduction in a Belgian nursing home.
Methods: Structured interviews between September and December 2009, before and after the introduction of ADS. Interviewees included dispensing pharmacist, nurses, nursing home management and coordinating physician. Interviews were audio-recorded, verbatim transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using a framework analysis approach.
Results: Nine interviews before, and 8 after ADS introduction were conducted.
Information: in the first round, most nurses mentioned a lack of information on ADS, contrary to the pharmacist, coordinating physician and head nurse. This difference was resolved only after introduction of ADS. Time management: most people expected to spend less time in medication management after introduction of ADS, except the pharmacist. After introduction, HCPs reported to need extra time for distribution and administration due to the fact that not all medication is distributable by ADS, and hence required a combination of old and new system. Also administrative issues required more time. Medication errors: new errors arose, due to non-familiarity with the new IT system, and problems with the number and labeling of pouches. Also unexpected discontinuation of therapy caused problems. On the other hand, all participants felt more secure about medication management. User-friendliness: the new medication pouches were deemed more hygienic and easier for administration than the old distribution system. The pouches, however, were more space-consuming and thus difficult to manage.
Conclusion: This analysis shows that health care providers have high expectations on the introduction of ADS, but that new problems can arise that have to be expected and handled appropriately.