Hospital pharmacy response to covid-19 pandemic in italy: what we learned from the first outbreak wave
Vera Damuzzo, Riccardo Bertin, Daniele Mengato, Marco Chiumente, Melania Rivano, Angelo Claudio Palozzo
Background When COVID-19 pandemic started, Italian hospital pharmacists faced multiple challenges and change their work practices.
Objectives The aim of this study was to describe the impact of COVID-19 emergency on pharmaceutical care provided by pharmacists during the first wave of the pandemic. Issues related to pharmacist’s involvement in the management of the pandemic were: changes in activities, support received by authorities and pharmacists’ own perceived role in the Health System.
Methods A cross-sectional study based on a web survey was conducted between May and June 2020 collecting information from pharmacists, members of Italian Society of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 113 (11.4%) completed the questionnaire. The cohort was divided in two arms: pharmacists who worked in severely COVID-19 affected areas (High Spread Regions) and those employed in less affected areas (Low Spread Regions).
Results The changes in pharmacy work settings reflected the increase of logistics area and non-sterile clinical galenic, and the reduction of clinical tasks. The most demanding challenge was referred to shortages of medical devices and drugs, 61/113 pharmacists reported difficulty in obtaining products compliant to quality standards. National Institutions and Regional Governments provided a greater perceived support. More than 50% of participants felt that their role did not change if compared to other health professionals.
Conclusions Despite some difficulties and limitations related to their clinical activity, pharmacists played a crucial role in supplying personal protective equipment, medical devices and medications to improve health outcomes during this emergency. The results may guide pharmacists in future actions to improve the management of the pandemic.
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