Israel Hospital Pharmaceutical Services: A National Survey
S. Livny, A. Hammerman, S. Shani, J. Shemer
Hiliel Yaffe Medical Center, Hadera; Israel Center for Technology Assessment in Health Care; Gertner Institute, Tel HaShomer; Dept. of Internal Medicine, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer; and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Results of a 1996 survey of hospital pharmaceutical services in Israel are presented. A questionnaire was mailed to 46 pharmacy directors in Israel hospitals of which a total of 33 were returned (72%).
The main services provided at hospital pharmacies are production of pharmaceuticals and inventory management. The pharmacy directors estimated that more then half of their pharmacists' time was spent on technical work that did not need their academic, professional knowledge. In Israel general hospitals there are on the average 1.23 full time pharmacist positions per 100 hospital beds and 1.09 positions for other pharmacy employees.
A similar survey carried out in the United States showed an average of 7.4 pharmacists per 100 hospital beds. Pharmacists there have broad clinical roles which, in general Israeli pharmacists do not have.
Computer systems are used in our pharmacies mainly for inventory management. About half of the directors did not think that the location, structure and furnishings of their pharmacy were appropriate for its role.
Under current conditions, Israel hospital pharmacies are not organized to provide pharmaceutical services beyond inventory management and pharmaceutical production. Appropriate budgets and personnel are required to develop clinical pharmacy services at Israel hospitals. This would lead to improved quality of drug treatment and cost-containment and would allow pharmacists to exploit their knowledge, skills and training that under the current system, are only partially utilized.