Press release: Evaluation of pharmacy TECHnician supported MEDication administration rounds on reducing omitted doses

Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK) is delighted to announce the publication of research funded by the charity. Research into the “Evaluation of pharmacy TECHnician supported MEDication administration rounds (TECHMED) on reducing omitted doses: a pilot randomised controlled trial and process evaluation in a university teaching hospital” has been conducted by Dr Richard Keers at the University of Manchester.

When doses of prescribed medications are omitted in hospitals, this can place patients at risk of harm. There is growing interest in how pharmacy teams can have more active roles in medicines administration on hospital wards to reduce omitted doses. This study looked at whether introducing a pharmacy technician supported medication administration service (TECHMED) on medication rounds in selected hospital wards reduced the number of omitted doses.

Interestingly, the TECHMED service did not reduce the rate of either total omitted doses or ‘preventable’ omitted doses on the wards where it was introduced, compared to other similar wards where it was not present. This result was explored through interviews with the nurses and pharmacy technicians involved in the study; many of those interviewed welcomed the service and provided anecdotal evidence of where it had prevented missed medication doses or otherwise improved patient care.  However, there were other incidents when the technicians were unable to deliver the service as intended due to issues such as a perceived lack of need and concerns over the impact of their presence had on the nursing staff.

Further research is needed to better understand how nurses and pharmacy technicians can work together during medication rounds to ensure that doses are delivered safe and on time without impacting either role or workload.

Dr Keers, said, “The PRUK / UKCPA Clinical Pharmacy Research Grant has helped me to develop my leadership and management skills as well as my understanding of electronic data and the governance surrounding its use, and I would like to thank the funders for providing me with this opportunity. The TECHMED study has provided some important insights into the reality of delivering this type of service and how this may influence outcomes, whilst also informing our understanding of how these services can be evaluated using routinely collected electronic data. These findings may contribute to ongoing developments at a time when NHS health care providers may explore alternative approaches to efficiently deliver quality patient care.”

Dr Sarah Carter, UKCPA General Secretary, said “The UKCPA were delighted to be able to jointly fund this project with PRUK. The findings highlighted the importance of effective inter-disciplinary working in order to improve patient care, and is an important piece of work on which to build further research to investigate the best ways to do this. A significant aim of the UKCPA-PRUK Clinical Pharmacy Research Grant is to build research skills within the practitioner and Richard’s reflections on how the grant enabled him to develop in a multitude of areas confirms that the grant achieved this objective.”

For more information please contact PRUK at practice.research@rpharms.com


Notes to Editors

  1. PRUK is the principle funder of pharmacy research in the UK. Founded as a result of a merger in 2012 of two previous research funding charities, PRUK has a broad programme of research in place. PRUK funds both research projects and individual bursaries to improve skills across the pharmacy sector. Registered charity number 1148335.
  2. See the full research report.
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