Pharmacists in Australian hospitals do not see all inpatients. Effectively utilising pharmacy assistants in non-traditional roles may provide an opportunity to increase the number of patients seen by pharmacists. Objective To implement a Calderdale Framework designed advanced pharmacy assistant role on an inpatient unit and evaluate the impact of the role on the provision of clinical pharmacy services provided by the pharmacist in an Australian University hospital.
The study was conducted in a single 24-bed medical IPU at a tertiary hospital in Queensland, Australia.
A quasi-experimental two-cohort comparison design, completed over three phases from 30/5/2016 to 30/9/2016 was employed. To evaluate the impact of the advanced pharmacy assistant on an inpatient unit an 8-week period of usual care was compared to the same time period on the same unit where the pharmacist provided usual care with the support of an advanced assistant. Pharmacist and assistant satisfaction was also surveyed. A training and lead-in phase was completed to ensure the advanced pharmay assistant was competent in completing the delegated tasks.
Main outcome measure
The primary outcome was percentage change of medication management plans documented by the pharmacist with an advanced assistant comparative to the pharmacist without.
The number of documented medication management plans significantly increased by 9.5% (p = 0.019; CI 1.86–17.14). Plans documented within 24 h and time to documentation remained unchanged. Completeness increased in community pharmacy documentation. The percentage of completed discharge medication records rose by 15.6%, (p < 0.001; CI 7.78–23.16). Interventions documented increased by 55 and the percentage of patients with clinical reviews documented increased by 35%. There were fewer missed doses recorded and pharmacists spent more time on clinically based tasks. Pharmacist and assistant satisfaction also improved.
The use of the Calderdale Framework enabled structured pharmacy assistant role redesign that impacted significantly on the provision of clinical pharmacy services on an inpatient unit.