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Purpose The results of a 2011 survey evaluating pharmacy services at small and rural Illinois hospitals are presented and compared with data from similar surveys in 2001 and 1991.
Methods A questionnaire modeled on the previous survey instruments but updated to reflect contemporary pharmacy practice was mailed to pharmacy directors at 86 small hospitals (i.e., <150 staffed beds) and rural hospitals (i.e., located outside metropolitan areas).
Results The response rate was 46.5%. The survey data indicated that 57.5% of hospitals represented in the 2011 survey had a centralized drug distribution system, 35.0% had a hybrid system, and 7.5% had a decentralized system. The most commonly reported form of technology was automated dispensing cabinets, which were in use at 75.0% of hospitals in 2011, compared with 34.8% of hospitals represented in the 2001 survey. Barcode verification of medication doses before dispensing and at the time of administration was performed at 50% and 70% of hospitals, respectively. While the provision of clinical pharmacy services has risen sharply since 1991, substantial changes were not observed between 2001 and 2011 except in the provision of compliance and drug histories (67.6% of hospitals in 2011 versus 46.8% in 2001) and pharmacist participation in medical emergency responses (54.0% versus 34.0%).
Conclusion A 2011 survey of pharmacy departments in small and rural Illinois hospitals provided information on the use of automation and health information technologies and showed changes in the provision of many clinical pharmacy services since 1991.
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