Justification of a pharmacy intravenous admixture service in an Australian hospital.
The time and cost of i.v. admixture preparation by hospital pharmacy staff members in an established admixture unit was compared with that by nurses working on wards. The preparation time of antimicrobial admixtures was determined by using a stopwatch. The total cost of preparing an admixture by pharmacy and nursing staff was calculated by combining the respective labor costs (preparation time x average salary rates weighted for overtime) with the cost of disposable items. The mean +/- S.D. time for admixture preparation in the pharmacy was 3.38 +/- 0.38 minutes, whereas preparation by nurses required 14.37 +/- 1.55 minutes. The mean +/- S.D. total cost (in Australian dollars) of admixture preparation was $1.42 +/- 0.34 per dose, and $4.59 +/- 0.46 per dose, respectively. Centralization of admixture preparation would reduce the time required by 18.32 hours for every 100 admixtures prepared, equivalent to an annual cost avoidance of $112,420 for every 100 admixtures prepared each day. Centralizing the preparation of i.v. admixtures in a hospital pharmacy resulted in significant time savings and cost avoidance.
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