Demographic Characteristics

In response to the 166 valid e-mail messages sent, 86 hospitals (52%) responded. Fifteen of these respondents also supplied their respective institution’s policies and evaluations. The surveys were completed by a pharma­cist (98% [84/86]) or a nurse (2% [2/86]). The respondents held the position of director (62% [52/84]), manager or supervisor (29% [24/84]), staff (7% [6/84]) or other (2% [2/84]). On a provincial basis, the number of surveys returned was greatest for Ontario (32 surveys [37%]). Thirty-six percent (31/86) of the responses were from hospitals with 200 beds or fewer, and 45% (38/85) of hospitals reported that they used primarily a unit-dose drug distribution system (Table 1).

Practices Relating to Patients’ Own Medications

The use of patients’ own medications was allowed in 98% (83/85) of hospitals. For most hospitals (89% [76/85]), the use of patients’ own medications was permitted only when necessary, for example if the medication was not stocked. A minority of hospitals (8% [7/85]) actively encouraged the use of patients’ own medications (Table 2), and 2% (2/85) did not allow their use. Only 3 hospitals, 2 in Ontario and 1 in New Brunswick, had dedicated staff to handle patients’ own medications. Viagra Professional

Table 1. Characteristics of 86 Hospitals Responding to a Survey on Use of Patients’ Own Medications



Characteristic


No.

(%)


Part of a multisite hospital, region,


or
authority (n


= 84)


43 (51)



Teaching hospital (n


= 85)


25 (29)



Size


< 200


beds


31 (36)


Unit-dose drug distribution



system (n


= 85)


38 (45)


Location


Western provinces


22 (26)


Ontario


32 (37)


Quebec


14 (16)


Atlantic provinces


18 (21)

Respondents were asked to identify the types of patients’ own medications that could be used (by checking as many types as applicable from the list in the survey). In order of frequency, the categories of medications allowed as patients’ own medications were nonformulary and nonstocked drugs (83% [70/84]), prepackaged medications (e.g., oral contraceptives) (60% [50/84]), investigational or clinical trial medications (55% [46/84]), multidose medications (e.g., inhalers, eye drops) (48% [40/84]), complementary and alternative agents (36% [30/84]), compounded preparations (33% [28/84]), over-the-counter and nonprescription drugs (27% [23/84]), all medications including controlled substances (26% [22/84]), brand-name medications when only the generic is stocked (17% [14/84]), and all medications except controlled substances (13% [11/84]). In terms of when patients’ own medications could be used (more than one answer allowed), most of the hospitals allowed use of a patient’s own medication if the medication was not stocked by the pharmacy (93% [78/84]), if the supply of the drug was delayed (42% [35/84]), and/or at the patient’s preference or discretion (31% [26/84).  buy antibiotics canada

Table 2. Selected Characteristics of the 7 Hospitals that Actively Encouraged the Use of Patients’ Own Medications



Characteristic


No.
(%)


Location


British Columbia


1 (14)


Ontario


2 (29)


New Brunswick


1 (14)


Nova Scotia


3 (43)



Size


> 500


beds


2 (29)


Unit-dose drug distribution system


2 (29)


Policies on use of patients’ own
medications


Type of medications allowed: multidose
medications


6 (86)


Staff who verify patients’ own
medications: pharmacy


7 (100)


Policy on use of patients’ own
medications available


6 (86)


Dedicated staff for patients’ own
medications


1 (14)


Use of patients’ own medications has
been evaluated


4 (57)

The most frequent method of dispensing and administering patients’ own medication was administration by the nurse from the original bottle or package (75% [63/84)], followed by repackaging and relabelling of the medication by the pharmacy (21% [18/84]), self-adminis­tration from the original bottle or package by the patient (19% [16/84]), and relabelling but not repackaging by the pharmacy (10% [8/84]). One respondent stated that the method depended on how the drug was supplied to the pharmacy, and some respondents reported the use of more than one method. If a prescription refill was needed while the patient was still in hospital, this was done by the community pharmacy (49% [41/83]), the hospital pharmacy (45% [37/83]), or through a request to the patient or family (8% [7/83]). A few hospitals followed methods not prespecified on the survey, stating that no refills were necessary because the prescription was filled as soon as the hospital pharmacy received its supply (2% [2/83]), that the method of refill depended on the situation (2% [2/83]), or that a health food store or complementary or alternative medicine practitioner would refill such prescriptions (1% [1/83]). As well, some respondents stated that the hospital pharmacy would refill the prescription if the patient did not have a drug plan, if a long stay in hospital was anticipated, if the patient could not use the formulary substitute, if the medication was investigational, or if the family could not bring in a new supply (1% [1/83] for each reason).
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