Availability and Use of Therapeutic Interchange Policies in Managing Antimicrobial Shortages among South African Public Sector Hospitals; Findings and Implications.
ABSTRACT: Abstract: Background: Therapeutic interchange policies in hospitals are useful in dealing with antimicrobial shortages and minimising resistance rates. The extent of antimicrobial shortages and availability of therapeutic interchange policies is unknown among public sector hospitals in South Africa. This study aimed to ascertain the extent of and rationale for dealing with antimicrobial shortages, describe policies or guidelines available, and the role of pharmacists in the process. METHODS:A quantitative and descriptive study was conducted with a target population of 403 public sector hospitals. Data were collected from hospital pharmacists using an electronic questionnaire via SurveyMonkeyTM. RESULTS:The response rate was 33.5% and most (83.3%) hospitals had experienced shortages in the previous six months. Antimicrobials commonly reported as out of stock included cloxacillin (54.3%), benzathine benzylpenicillin (54.2%), and erythromycin (39.6%). Reasons for shortages included pharmaceutical companies with supply constraints (85.3%) and an inefficient supply system. Only 42.4% had therapeutic interchange policies, and 88.9% contacted the prescriber, when present, for substitution. CONCLUSIONS:Antimicrobial shortages are prevalent in South African public sector hospitals with the most affected being penicillins and cephalosporins. Therapeutic interchange policies are not available at most hospitals. Effective strategies are required to improve communication between pharmacists and prescribers to ensure that safe, appropriate, and therapeutically equivalent alternatives are available.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Medicine shortages are a complex global challenge affecting all countries. This includes South Africa where ongoing medicine shortages are a concern among public sector hospitals as South Africa strives for universal access to healthcare. The objectives of this research were to highlight challenges in the current pharmaceutical procurement process for public sector hospitals. Subsequently, suggest potential ways forward based on the findings as the authorities in South Africa seek to improve the procurement process. METHOD:Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 pharmacy managers in public sector hospitals in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. A thematic content analysis was performed, with transcripts coded by two of the authors. Coding was discussed until consensus was reached. Categories were developed and grouped into themes. RESULTS:The 'Procurement process' emerged from the data as the overarching theme, rooted in three main themes: (i) The buy-out process that was used to procure medicines from suppliers other than the contracted ones; (ii) Suppliers not performing thereby contributing to medicine shortages in the hospitals; and (iii) Challenges such as the inaccuracy of the electronic inventory management system used in the hospitals. CONCLUSIONS:Effective management of contracts of suppliers by the Provincial Department of Health is crucial to ensure accessibility and availability of essential medicines to all citizens of South Africa. Ongoing monitoring and support for the future use of computerised inventory management systems is important to reduce medicine shortages, and this is being followed up.
Project description:Antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASPs) in hospitals are predominantly led by specific ASP physicians and pharmacists. Limited studies have been conducted to appreciate non-ASP-trained hospital pharmacists' perspectives on their roles in antimicrobial stewardship. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 74 pharmacists, purposively sampled from the 3 largest acute-care public hospitals in Singapore, to explore facilitators and barriers faced by them in antimicrobial stewardship. Applied thematic analysis was conducted and codes were categorised using the social-ecological model (SEM). At the intrapersonal level, pharmacists identified themselves as reviewers for drug safety before dispensing, confining to a restricted advisory role due to lack of clinical knowledge, experience, and empowerment to contribute actively to physicians' prescribing decisions. At the interpersonal level, pharmacists expressed difficulties conveying their opinions and recommendations on antibiotic therapy to physicians despite frequent communications, but they assumed critical roles as educators for patients and their caregivers on proper antibiotic use. At the organisational level, in-house antibiotic guidelines supported pharmacists' antibiotic interventions and recommendations. At the community level, pharmacists were motivated to improve low public awareness and knowledge on antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance. These findings provide important insights into the gaps to be addressed in order to harness the untapped potential of hospital pharmacists and fully engage them in antimicrobial stewardship.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Pharmacists report spending a considerable amount of time dealing with drug shortages. There is no research in Canada identifying and describing the strategies and resources that pharmacists use to minimize disruption and continuity of care for patients.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>An exploratory qualitative methodology was used. Community pharmacists and technicians in Ontario were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol. Verbatim transcripts were generated and coded by at least 2 independent reviewers using content analysis methods to identify management strategies.<br><br><b>Results and discussion: </b>A total of 14 pharmacists and 7 regulated pharmacy technicians participated in this study. The following 5 main strategies for managing drug shortages were identified: (1) using the supplier, (2) generic options, (3) brand options, (4) contacting other pharmacies and (5) switching to a different medication.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>The strategies identified through this research can provide pharmacists with some guidance in approaching the real-world problem of drug shortages. It also highlights opportunities for organizations, government and manufacturers to provide additional support for pharmacists to minimize disruptions for patients and to ensure current ad hoc practices do not further compound shortage issues. <i>Can Pharm J (Ott)</i> 2020;153:xx-xx.
Project description:Introduction: Medicine shortages result in great risk for the continuity of patient care especially for antimicrobial treatment, potentially enhancing resistance rates and having a higher economic impact. This study aims to identify, describe, assess, and assign risk priority levels to potential failures following substitution of antimicrobial treatment due to shortages among European hospitals. Furthermore, the study investigated the impact of corrective actions on risk reduction so as to provide guidance and improve future patient care. Methods: Health-care failure mode and effect analysis (HFMEA) was applied to hospitals in Austria (H-AT), Belgium (H-BE), Croatia (H-CR), Greece (H-GR), Spain (H-SP), and Serbia (H-SR). Multidisciplinary teams identified processes, failure modes, causes, and corrective actions related to antibiotic substitution following medicine shortages. Characteristics of study hospitals as well as severity, probability, and hazard scores (HSs) of failure modes/causes were analyzed using Microsoft Office Excel 2010 and IBM SPSS Statistics® via descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Through HFMEA, 74 failure modes were identified, with 53 of these scoring 8 or above on the basis of assigned severity and probability for a failure. Severity of failure modes differed before and after corrective actions in H-CR, H-GR, and H-SR (p < 0.005). Their probability differed in all study hospitals (p < 0.005) when compared before and after corrective actions aimed to be implemented. The highest number of failure-mode causes was detected in H-CR (46) and the lowest in H-SP (16). Corrective actions can address failure modes and lower HSs; therein, all teams proposed the following: structuring communication among stakeholders, introducing electronic prescribing, strengthening pharmacists' involvement, and increasing effectiveness of the ward stock assessment. These proposed actions led to HS reductions up to 83%. Conclusion: There is a lack of structure in addressing risks associated with antibiotic substitution following shortages. Furthermore, lack of communication, data scarcity on availability of antibiotics, non-supportive information technology (IT) systems, and lack of internal substitution protocols hinder quick assessment of alternatives addressing patient needs. Nevertheless, the study shows that health-care professionals manage to secure optimal antimicrobial treatment for patients using available IT and human resources.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs are usually limited in resources and scope. Therefore, wider engagement of hospital pharmacists in reviewing antimicrobial orders is necessary to ensure appropriate prescribing. We assessed hospital pharmacists' self-reported practice and confidence in reviewing antimicrobial prescribing, and their knowledge in making AMS interventions.<h4>Methods</h4>We conducted an Australia-wide, cross-sectional survey in October 2017. A link to the online survey was emailed to hospital pharmacists via the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia. Factors associated with higher knowledge scores were explored using linear regression models.<h4>Results</h4>There were 439 respondents, of whom 272 (61.7%) were from metropolitan public hospitals. Pharmacists were more likely to assess the appropriateness of intravenous, broad-spectrum or restricted antibiotics than narrow-spectrum, oral antibiotics within 24-72 h of prescription; p < 0.001. Fifty percent or fewer respondents were confident in identifying AMS interventions related to dose optimization based on infection-specific factors, bug-drug mismatch, and inappropriate lack of spectra of antimicrobial activity. The median knowledge score (correct answers to knowledge questions) was 6 out of 9 (interquartile range, 5-7); key gaps were noted in antimicrobials' anaerobic spectrum, beta-lactam allergy assessment and dosing in immunocompromised patients. Clinical practice in inpatient areas, registration for 3-5 years and receipt of recent AMS education were associated with higher knowledge scores. More interactive modes of education delivery were preferred over didactic modes; p ≤ 0.01.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Gaps in practice, confidence and knowledge among hospital pharmacists were identified that could inform the design of educational strategies to help improve antimicrobial prescribing in Australian hospitals.
Project description:Initial assessments of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness revealed resource shortages and variations in infection prevention policies across US hospitals. Our follow-up survey revealed improvement in resource availability, increase in testing capacity, and uniformity in infection prevention policies. Most importantly, the survey highlighted an increase in staffing shortages and use of travel nursing.
Project description:Senior physicians of modern medicine in India play a key role in shaping policies and public opinion and institutional management. This paper explores their perceptions of medical tourism (MT) within India which is a complex process involving international demands and policy shifts from service to commercialisation of health care for trade, gross domestic profit, and foreign exchange. Through interviews of 91 physicians in tertiary care hospitals in three cities of India, this paper explores four areas of concern: their understanding of MT, their views of the hospitals they work in, perceptions of the value and place of MT in their hospital and their views on the implications of MT for medical care in the country. An overwhelming majority (90%) of physicians in the private tertiary sector and 74.3 percent in the public tertiary sector see huge scope for MT in the private tertiary sector in India. The private tertiary sector physicians were concerned about their patients alone and felt that health of the poor was the responsibility of the state. The public tertiary sector physicians' however, were sensitive to the problems of the common man and felt responsible. Even though the glamour of hi-tech associated with MT dazzled them, only 35.8 percent wanted MT in their hospitals and a total of 56 percent of them said MT cannot be a public sector priority. 10 percent in the private sector expressed reservations towards MT while the rest demanded state subsidies for MT. The disconnect between their concern for the common man and professionals views on MT was due to the lack of appreciation of the continuum between commercialisation, the denial of resources to public hospitals and shift of subsidies to the private sector. The paper highlights the differences and similarities in the perceptions and context of the two sets of physicians, presents evidence, that questions the support for MT and finally analyzes some key implications of MT on Indian health services, ethical issues emerging out of that and the need for understanding the linkages between public and private sectors for a more effective intervention for an equitable medical care policy.
Project description:Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global public-health threat. Evidence suggests that antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is a valuable tool to facilitate rational antibiotic use within healthcare facilities. A cross-sectional situational analysis using a questionnaire was conducted to determine the current status of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities in all public-sector hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The survey had a 79% (57, N = 72) response rate. A total of 75% of hospitals had an antimicrobial stewardship committee (AMSC), 47% (20, N = 43) had a formal written statement of support from leadership, and 7% (3, N = 43) had budgeted financial support. Only 37% (16, N = 43) had on-site or off-site support from a clinical microbiologist, and 5% (2, N = 43) had an on-site infectious disease (ID) physician. Microbiologist input on pathogen surveillance data (aOR: 5.12; 95% CI: 4.08-22.02; <i>p</i>-value = 0.001) and microbiological investigations prior to the commencement of antibiotics (aOR: 5.12; 95% CI: 1.08-42.01; <i>p</i>-value = 0.041) were significantly associated with having either on- or off-site microbiology support. Respondents that had a representative from microbiology on the AMSC were significantly associated with having and interrogating facility-specific antibiograms (<i>P</i> = 0.051 and <i>P</i> = 0.036, respectively). Those facilities that had access to a microbiologist were significantly associated with producing an antibiogram (aOR: 4.80; 95% CI: 1.25-18.42; <i>p</i>-value = 0.022). Facilities with an ID physician were significantly associated with having a current antibiogram distributed to prescribers within the facility (<i>P</i> = 0.010) and significantly associated with sending prescribers personalized communication regarding improving prescribing (<i>P</i> = 0.044). Common challenges reported by the facilities included suboptimal hospital management support; a lack of clinicians, pharmacists, nurses, microbiologists, and dedicated time; the lack of a multidisciplinary approach; low clinician buy-in; inadequate training; a lack of printed antibiotic guidelines; and financial restrictions for microbiological investigations. The survey identified the need for financial, IT, and management support. Microbiology and infectious disease physicians were recognized as scarce human resources.
Project description:Neonatal inpatient care is reliant on experienced nursing care, yet little is known about how Kenyan hospitals foster the development of newborn nursing experience in newborn units. A Qualitative ethnographic design. Face to face 29 in depth interviews were conducted with nurses providing neonatal care in one private, one faith based and one public hospital in Nairobi, Kenya between January 2017 and March 2018. All data were transcribed verbatim, coded in the original language and analysed using a framework approach. Across the sectors, nurses perceived experience as important to the provision of quality care. They noted that hospitals could foster experience through recruitment, orientation, continuous learning and retention. However, while the private hospital facilitated experience building the public and faith-based hospitals experienced challenges due to human resource management practices and nursing shortages. Health sector context influenced how experience was developed among nurses. Nurturing experience will require that different health sectors adopt better recruitment for people interested in NBU work, better orientation and fewer rotations even without specialist nurse training.
Project description:Drug shortages frequently and persistently affect healthcare institutions, posing formidable financial, logistical, and ethical challenges. Despite plentiful evidence characterizing the impact of drug shortages, there is a remarkable dearth of data describing current shortage management practices. Hospitals within the same state or region may not only take different approaches to shortages but may be unaware of shortages proximate facilities are facing. Our goal is to explore how hospitals in Michigan handle drug shortages to assess potential need for comprehensive drug shortage management resources. We conducted semi-structured interviews with diverse stakeholders throughout the state to describe experiences managing drug shortages, approaches to recent shortages, openness to inter-institutional engagement, ideas for a shared resource, and potential obstacles to implementation. To solicit additional feedback on ideas for a shared resource gathered from the interviews, we held focus groups with pharmacists, physicians, ethicists, and community representatives. Among participants representing a heterogeneous sample of institutions, three themes were consistent: (1) numerous drug shortage strategies occurring simultaneously; (2) inadequate resources and lead time to proactively manage shortages; and (3) interest in, but varied attitudes toward, a collaborative approach. These data provide insight to help develop and test a shared drug shortage management resource for enhancing fair allocation of scarce drugs. A shared resource may help institutions adopt accepted best practices and more efficiently access or share finite resources in times of shortage.