National survey of clinical pharmacy services and pharmacy technician roles for subacute aged-care inpatients

Rohan Andrew Elliott, Dhineli Perera, Karen O'Leary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Subacute aged-care inpatients usually have multiple risk factors for adverse medication events. There is evidence that clinical pharmacy services can improve their medication management. Aim: To describe clinical pharmacy services, pharmacist and pharmacy technician staffing levels, and pharmacy technician roles in the subacute aged-care inpatient setting. Method: A pre-piloted online survey was e-mailed to directors of pharmacy listed in the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia Directory of Hospital Pharmacy Services 2011. The survey included items about the hospital, number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pharmacists and pharmacy technicians providing clinical and medication distribution services to subacute aged-care beds, clinical pharmacy services provided, and tasks undertaken by pharmacy technicians. Results: 31 evaluable responses were received (estimated response rate 25 ). 11 (36 ) respondents provided a comprehensive clinical pharmacy service to most subacute aged-care inpatients at least 5 days/week; 8 (26 ) respondents were unable to provide a basic clinical pharmacy service. The number of subacute aged-care beds per 1 FTE pharmacist (20-128 beds) and pharmacy technician (15-630 beds) was highly variable. Pharmacy technicians predominantly assisted with distribution of medicines (restocking ward imprest and individual patient supply) and infrequently assisted with clinical pharmacy tasks. Conclusion: Clinical pharmacy service provision to subacute aged-care inpatients was suboptimal at most participating hospitals. Increased FTE pharmacists would be needed to consistently deliver comprehensive clinical pharmacy services. Expanding pharmacy technicians roles could support the provision of clinical pharmacy services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125 - 128
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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