n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Optimising services by the clinical pharmacist in a neonatal intensive care unit of a tertiary hospital in Gauteng Province, South Africa : optimizing hospital patient care

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


South Africa's health sector is faced with a shortage of skilled personnel in key areas, such as pharmacy. Due to these staff shortages it is difficult to allocate pharmacists to work full time in clinical units. Schellack and Gous (2010) designed a Pharmaceutical Care Risk Assessment Sheet (PCRAS) to prioritize patients in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for the clinical pharmacist practicing pharmaceutical care. An operational prospective study with a cross sectional design was followed. During the three month study period, 61 patients were enrolled. The total time spent in the NICU was 161 hours in 43 days, i.e. an average of 3.57 hours per day. The pharmacist spent the majority of the time (71 %) with patient care related interventions. Using the PCRAS scores the patients were prioritised into three categories e.g. low, moderate or high. All the patients were seen by the pharmacist for a total of 375 occasions, with an average of 6.15 consultations per patient. Over the study period the researcher made 153 interventions with a mean average of 2.46 interventions per patient. The mean medicines prescribed per patient were 7.97. The pharmaceutical risk assessment sheets allows for risk stratification in prioritizing patient care for the clinical pharmacist. This might save the pharmacist time and enable them to assist with other functions e.g. dosage preparations and stock control in the pharmacy.

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