Nationwide current situation of hospital pharmacists in intensive care units
Objective: To describe the current situation of the hospital pharmacist in intensive care units and their activity in care, in teaching and in research. Method: Multicenter and prospective study through a survey disseminated by the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy, which consisted of several sections: personal and hospital's data, hospital's characteristics, pharmacist's involvement in intensive care units and teaching. Results: A number of 58 completed surveys were obtained. The number of pharmacists involved in intensive care units was 1 in 77.6% of cases, assisting an average of 30.8 beds (5-70). Experience of pharmacists in the intensive care unit was 5 years on average (2 months-25 years). Visitor's pass assistance and shift changes were between "never" by 36.2% to "daily" by 22.4%. Out of respondents, 93.1% reported a part-time intensive care unit involvement. Regarding activities undertaken, between 40-60% of pharmacists manage narcotics, teaching at intensive care unit, conciliation and safety. Between 60-80%, pharmacists cover clinical nutrition, notarization, optimization of pharmacokinetics and antibiotics; and 84.5% perform pharmacotherapy follow-up. Out of the surveyed pharmacists, 77.6% have specialized medical training, rotating intensive care unit residents in 86% of cases. Conclusions: Most of the surveyed hospitals have one part-time pharmacist in these units. In order to improve the quality of pharmaceutical care of critically ill patients, it would be necessary to extend the involvement in time and staff, regarding the current situation, and a greater number of hospitals should include pharmacists in hospital intensive care units.