In order to reduce the cost of drugs and the time nurses spend on them, a six-month collaboration project was carried out between the hospital pharmacy and a ward unit. The ward unit had a yearly drug expenditure of 5.9 million NOK.
Pharmacy technicians stocked up the unit twice a week according to an agreed standard. Hospital pharmacists checked the need of other drugs ordered. A comparison between periods before and during the project was done on the value of the drug stock, credited returned drugs, nurses' time spent on drug handling and the number of telephone orders to the pharmacy. The value of avoided deliveries was calculated.
The value of the drug stock was halved and calculated at a value of NOK 22,000. The value of drugs credited by the pharmacy was NOK 52,000. The savings from avoided deliveries were NOK 90,000. Total savings were NOK 164,000, 5% of the value of total purchases. In addition, nurses spent 11 hours less a week on drug handling. The number of telephone orders to the pharmacy was halved.
Pharmacy-managed drug supply to hospital wards may reduce drug expenditure and the risk of medication errors.