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An Assessment of the need of pharmaceutical services in the intensive care unit and high care unit of Steve Biko Academic hospital

Thesis (MSc(Med)(Pharmacy)) -- University of Limpopo, 2012. / The role of the pharmacist has evolved over the last two decades beyond the
traditional functions of dispensing and stock control. The focus has shifted toward
patient-oriented functions, in which the pharmacist assumes responsibility for the
patient’s drug- and healthcare needs as well as the outcome of treatment.
The aim of this research was to assess the need for pharmaceutical care to the
Surgical Intensive Care Unit of Steve Biko Hospital. The surgical and trauma ICU is
a 12 bed unit to which the researcher rendered pharmaceutical care over an eight
week period, from 14 February to 26 March 2011. Interventions to assess drug
therapy and achieve definite outcomes to improve patients’ quality of life were
documented for 51 study patients according to the system developed by the
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (1992).
Of the 51 patients, 35 were male and 16 were female. The age of the patients
ranged from 12 years to 86 years, with most patients admitted to the unit in the age
groups 21 to 30 years, and 51 to 60 years. The patients’ estimated weights ranged
from 40kg to 120kg with older patients, from age 41 upwards, weighing more. The
average stay in the unit was 8.7 days, with the minimum stay for one patient being
only one day, and the maximum stay for one patient was 26 days.
In the study, the HIV status of only 13 of the 51 patients was tested. Of the 13
patients, six were HIV positive, while seven tested negative. All the patients
admitted to the unit were not tested for HIV, because they were not admitted to the
unit for HIV-related causes, and test results would not have had an effect on their
Diagnoses encountered most frequently in the unit were trauma (21 patients),
skeletal involvement or fractures (16 patients), infections or sepsis (15 patients) and
gastro-intestinal bleeds (14 patients). In most cases more than one diagnosis
applied to the same patient, since patients admitted with trauma also had skeletal or
gastro-intestinal involvement.
An Assessment of the need of Pharmaceutical Services in the Intensive Care Unit and High
Care Unit of Steve Biko Academic Hospital
The medications prescribed most frequently were enoxaparin (49 patients),
sucralfate (41 patients) and multivitamin syrup (47 patients); in accordance with the
standard ward protocol for prophylactic regimens. The drug class most often used
was the anti-infectiveshaving124 items prescribed during the study period. Of these,
the broad spectrum antibiotics were used most frequently, e.g.
piperacillin/tazobactam (22 patients), meropenem (11 patients) and imipenem (11
patients). An average of 12 medications was prescribed for each patient in the ward.
A total of 181 interventions were suggested for the 51 patients during the study
period, of which 127 (70%) were accepted and implemented by the medical and
nursing staff. The average number of interventions per patient ranged from 0 to 13
with a median of 3.5 interventions per patient. The four most frequent problem types
were untreated medical conditions (15.5%), length or course of therapy inappropriate
(13.8%), investigations indicated or outstanding (12.2%) and prescribed doses and
dosing frequency appropriate (11%). Interventions were also made regularly to
address system errors or non-compliance and factors hindering achievement of
therapeutic effect.
The perceived need for pharmaceutical care by healthcare professionals in the SICU
was measured by questionnaires before and after the study period. The
feedback by staff regarding the pharmacist working in the ward was very positive.
They appreciated the researchers input on ward rounds, as well as assistance with
problems encountered with the pharmacy.
Of the total time spent in the ward, the researcher spent 28% of her time on patient
evaluation. Ward rounds also took up a great deal of time (21.7%), since ward
rounds were done with different members of the multidisciplinary team. Most
interventions were suggested during ward rounds.
The costs saved during the study period were enough to justify the appointment of a
pharmacist to the ward on a permanent basis, albeit for limited hours daily.
The researcher designed an antibiotic protocol for the unit. The protocol was
designed according to international standards, and after discussion with the
microbiologists, adapted for use in the specific unit.
An Assessment of the need of Pharmaceutical Services in the Intensive Care Unit and High
Care Unit of Steve Biko Academic Hospital
In conclusion, the study results have demonstrated that a pharmacist’s contribution
to patient care at ward level in a surgical ICU resulted in clinical outcomes that
improved the patient’s quality of life. Drug-related problems were identified and
addressed. Medical staff in the S-ICU accepted the pharmacist’s interventions and
even welcomed her contribution to other ward functions, for instance managing
medication and providing education.
Pharmaceutical care should be rendered on a permanent basis to the Surgical ICU
and the pharmacist should increasingly become a key part of the multidisciplinary
team, taking responsibility for patients’ medication needs.
Date January 2012
CreatorsBronkhorst, Elmien.
ContributorsSchellack, N., Gous, A.G.S., Pretorious, J.
PublisherUniversity of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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