Linked to EAHP Statements
Section 1 – Introductory statements and governance: Statements 1.2, 1.3
Section 2 – Selection, Procurement and distribution: Statements 2.1, 2.5, 2.6
Section 4 - Clinical Pharmacy Services: Statements 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
Section 5 - Patient Safety and Quality Assurance: Statement 5.1, 5.5
Section 6 – Education and research: Statement 6.5
ACPE UAN: 0475-0000-22-xxx-xxx-x. xxxx.
In early 2020, the world was introduced to a new viral outbreak. Worldwide the pandemic challenged the daily way of living since no prevention or sufficient treatment existed. The challenges were particularly serious for the hospitals, including hospital pharmacies, because the pandemic led to a swift increase in admitted patients pressuring the capacity of the hospitals throughout the world.
Various national initiatives were introduced, including physical distancing, hand hygiene, use of personal protection equipment, travel restrictions, digital communication and lab-testing in the hope of constraining the viral outbreak until effective vaccines and therapeutic agents could be developed. The initiatives were based on culture, political decisions, and the little available evidence, and (inter)national recommendations changed frequently as result of appearing evidence and changes in the outbreak epidemiology.
Authorities, researchers, pharma companies etc. mobilised resources to address this unknown land by developing vaccines and testing existing molecules for potential effect on the new virus. However, other problems appeared including increases in medication shortages, shortage of face masks and other personal, preventive agents.
The hospital pharmacist had an active role in many aspects of the pandemic, including providing alternatives to the unavailable medications and personal, preventive agents as well as participating in clinical trials, planning and monitoring. A plethora of solutions were introduced to minimise the risk of infection including provision of hospital medicines to patients at their homes.
In this session, we provide an overview of lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic relevant for hospital pharmacists. These lessons will provide us with knowledge to be better prepared should a pandemic challenge our world once again.
After the session, participants should be able to:
- Illustrate the essential role of the hospital pharmacist in an acute situation like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Discuss the effect of various initiatives implemented as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Analyse the implemented initiatives regarding patient safety
Educational need addressed
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a unique situation, where the health care systems throughout the world have been challenged on many aspects of routine tasks usually securing the best possible treatment of patients admitted to hospital. If a similar international situation should occur in the future, it is of great importance that hospital pharmacists can act rapidly based on the lessons learnt internationally.
Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, optimisation, vaccines, antiviral treatment, procedures