Objective: To assess the feasibility and impact of the activities of pharmacy interns on German hospital wards as well as the acceptance of their activities by medical and pharmaceutical staff.
Method: The project was carried out for 36 months in six hospitals on different wards. Seventeen interns spent three months first in the pharmacy followed by another three months in the wards. Information about their tasks on different wards was obtained through reporting by interns on a standardized data collection form. Questionnaires regarding acceptance and impact of pharmacy interns were answered by medical and pharmaceutical staff.
Results: After having adjusted to their tasks, the interns investigated and developed solutions for structural and process-related slacks in the handling of medicines in the wards. They focused on drug information, on the detection and prevention of medication and documentation errors and storage of medicines in the wards. One hundred and forty six questionnaires regarding acceptance, impact and possible tasks of the interns were answered. Ninety percent of the surveyed medical staff considered the work of the interns as useful and 89% were in favour of permanent interns in the wards. The acceptance by pharmaceutical staff was slightly lower.
Conclusion: This pilot study represents a landmark for the implementation of clinical pharmacy in daily practice especially on medical wards in Germany. Working in wards offers interns a possibility to extend their knowledge and skills. The project demonstrates that pharmacy interns can play an important role in drug safety in hospital wards. The acceptance by physicians and nurses is high. The majority of them requested the continuation of the project.