EDITOR’S NOTE: Some positive new trends among hospital pharmacists are on the rise including improved medication-use practices. Read the full story below for the updates on smart infusion pumps, newly implemented EHRs, and more.
Hospital pharmacists are taking a greater role in patient care, performing more medication-related patient transition-of-care (TOC) interventions, 24/7 medication order review, and medication counseling, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ National Survey of Pharmacy Practice in Hospital Settings: Dispensing and Administration—2014.
The survey was published in the July issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.
The survey of 1,435 pharmacy directors who work at general and children’s medical-surgical hospitals in the United States, also found that the use of smart pumps, barcode-assisted medication administration, computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems, and electronic health record (EHR) systems continues to grow in hospitals of all sizes.
“The significant growth in pharmacists’ medication-management services and the rise in the use of medication-use technology are positive trends contributing to increased patient safety and improved patient outcomes,” said Daniel J. Cobaugh, PharmD, editor-in-chief ofAJHP. “Pharmacists’ leadership has been critical to implementation of these services and safety measures in healthcare settings across the U.S.”
The survey found that a number of hospital and health-system medication-use practices have improved dramatically since 2005. For example, 24/7 pharmacist medication order review and consultation is now available in 80 percent of hospitals (up from 30 percent in 2005).
In addition, pharmacists in hospitals surveyed increasingly provide TOC services, including medication reconciliation services (61 percent), the development of patient-specific medication action plans (11 percent), pharmacist counseling (42 percent), and pharmacist participation in discharge planning (32 percent).
In terms of technology, 94 percent of hospitals have partially or completely implemented an EHR, the survey found. In addition, CPOE systems are found in 81 percent of hospitals.
Approximately 81 percent of hospitals now use smart infusion pumps — up from 32 percent in 2005. Although the use varies by size of hospital, 100 percent of hospitals with more than 600 beds use smart pumps, up from 84 percent in 2009. In smaller hospitals (50 beds or fewer), 67 percent use smart infusion pumps (up from 41 percent in 2009).
Barcode-assisted medication administration (BCMA) is used in 88 percent of hospitals to verify patient identity and electronically check doses administered by nurses, compared to only 34 percent to 66 percent of hospitals using BCMA in 2011.