Survey: Pharmacy Dispensing and Administration Improves Medication Safety

October 1, 2009 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The results of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 2008 national survey of pharmacy practice, published in the May 15, 2009, issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (Pedersen et al.), outline trends in pharmacy practice and reflect continuing contributions of pharmacists to the safey of medication use in hospital settings.

The random survey of pharmacy directors in the United States had a 40% response rate, representing hospitals of various sizes. Compared to results of a 2005 survey, growth in the use of decentralized medication distribution systems—which employ satellite pharmacies and automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs)—was noted. In 2008, ADCs were used by 83% of hospitals, while in 2005, just 72% used them. Increased use of unit-dose dispensing was noted, as was increased use of robots to automate dispensing of unit-dose inpatient medications using bar-code technology. In 2008, 10.2% of hospitals used robots, compared to 4.5% in 1999 and 7.8% in 2002. The use of robots and...

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