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Browsing by Subject "Social and healthcare unit"

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  • Hitonen, Heidi (2013)
    About 10 % of the patients experience an adverse event during their treatment. About 1 % of the adverse events are serious. Extrapolated from international evidence adverse events cause death of 700 - 1700 patients annually in Finland. Medication errors are the most common single preventable cause of adverse events. According to several studies about half of the adverse events and medication errors are preventable. Therefore medication safety is a central part of the Finnish Patient Safety Strategy. One of the medication safety tools in Finland is unit-based pharmacotherapy plan for which the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health gives instructions in the Safe Pharmacotherapy guide. All social and healthcare units should develop a pharmacotherapy plan which describes the medication processes in the unit. The purpose is to harmonise the principles for the provision of pharmacotherapy, to clarify the division of responsibilities related to its provision, and to define the minimum requirements that must be complied. The aim of the study was to explore how the pharmacotherapy plans were made and to evaluate their implementation and benefits in hospitals, health centres and social care units for the elderly. Pharmacotherapy plans are studied as part of the Finnish Patient Safety Strategy, focusing on medication safety. Head nurses were chosen as target group. The data was collected by phone interviews. Forty (8 %) interviews were received from a random sample that was taken from a register of head nurses held by Tehy ry. The interview was semi-structured theme interview and the data was analysed using content analysis. Most of the studied units (n= 24, 60 %) had started to formulate the pharmacotherapy plan in 2007, soon after the Safe Pharmacotherapy guide was published. Pharmacotherapy plans were drawn up on organisation and/or unit level. There was a lot of variety in the working groups' sizes and professionals taking part in them. More instructions would have been needed. The most common way (n=20, 50 %) to induct the pharmacotherapy plan to the staff was to introduce it at the unit meeting. Most commonly mentioned changes to the operations in the units were related to error reporting (n=15, 38 %), certification procedures for distribution and administration of medicines (n=9, 23 %) and task allocation (n=8, 20 %). There were several benefits of the pharmacotherapy plan of which most common were starting or developing error reporting (n=19, 48 %), clarification and better availability of instructions (n=18, 45 %), better induction of new staff members and substitutes (n=16, 40 %) and standardization of procedures (n=10, 25 %). Allocation of tasks and responsibilities was considered a challenge in developing and using the pharmacotherapy plan. Limited resources caused difficulties in implementing and using the pharmacotherapy plan. The staffs' medication education was kept more up-to date after introduction of the pharmacotherapy plan but the education was also challenging for the units. Pharmacotherapy plans made the units develop their procedures and increased understanding of medication safety. All in all the plans have worked well as part of the Patient Safety Strategy. However the systematic development of the pharmacotherapy and the use of pharmacotherapy plans in social and healthcare units requires more effort.