Drug Dispensing Systems at Al-Shifa Hospital and the European Gaza Hospital: A Comparative Study

Mokhlis Al Adham
مخلص خليل محمد الادهم
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Al-Quds University
Implementing an effective drug dispensing system at hospitals is very important in order to ensure that the prescribed drugs are rationally used and safely administered. The overall aim of this study is to compare the Unit Dose System utilized at the European Gaza Hospital (EGH) and the Ward Stock System utilized at Al-Shifa Hospital, in order to assess which drug dispensing system is more appropriate and contributing more to the safe and rational drug use. A quantitative comparative cross-sectional design using three research instruments was followed in this study. The instruments were structured questionnaire directed toward pharmacists and head nurses, missed drug registration sheet and drug administration observation sheet. The total number of pharmacists and head nurses at both hospitals was 92, and the response rate for the questionnaire was 94.5%. The study illustrated that more than 70% of the respondents at both Al-Shifa Hospital and the European Gaza Hospital reported that they had sometimes experienced drug shortage in their settings, and also that more than 86% of the respondents at both hospitals considered drug shortage at the Ministry of Health Drug Stores as the main reason of drug shortage at their settings. Additionally, nearly 64% of the study respondents at Al-Shifa Hospital reported that drug shortage was observed with all cases (the newly-admitted and the previously admitted cases), while 76% of respondents reported that drug shortage was mostly observed with the newly-admitted cases at the EGH. This study showed that the percentage of missed drugs at Al-Shifa Hospital was 5%, while it was 2.9% at the EGH and the differences were statistically significant. Also, the study clarified that the rate of medication administration errors was higher at Al-Shifa Hospital than the EGH with percentages of 9.7% and 6% respectively. This study elucidated that nurses' time spent on drug management process at Al-Shifa Hospital was perceived to be longer than it at the EGH. Additionally, guidelines about drugs preparation and administration were more available at the EGH and there was nearly absence of reporting about medication errors at both hospitals. Moreover, the study showed that the degree of pharmacists' involvement in clinical pharmacy activities was more prominent at the EGH and therefore the level of pharmacists-physicians contact was higher at the EGH than it at Al-Shifa Hospital. Also