Pharmacy assistants provide solution to omitted medicines doses

New research suggests that pharmacy assistants can help to ensure that hospital patients receive all their prescribed doses of medicines.

The problem of patients not receiving every dose of their prescribed medicines in hospital is significant and affects the quality and safety of their care.

Researchers examined the impact of using trained pharmacy assistants to support nurses on drug rounds.

During a two week period, they found the number of patients with unacceptable omitted doses was 1% in the pharmacy assistant-supported rounds compared with 11% where pharmacy assistants were on the ward but not accompanying the nurses, and 18% on the control wards where no pharmacy assistants were present. Results for the number of omitted doses revealed a similar pattern.

“This study provides evidence for a potential solution to the problem of omitted doses for hospital inpatients,” say the researchers in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
on 28 January 2015.


[1] Baqir W, Jones K, Horsley W et al. Reducing unacceptable missed doses: pharmacy assistant-supported medicine administration. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 2015. doi: 10.1111/ijpp.12172.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 14 February 2015, Vol 294, No 7849;294(7849):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067845

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