Aims the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG) supported two paediatric pharmacists to work with the online Medusa injectable medicines guide to improve the paediatric content of the website, initially for a 12 month period. The aim of this survey was firstly to understand what resources hospital pharmacists currently use to advise their nursing and medical staff on the administration of injectable medicines for paediatrics. The second aim was to assess current opinions regarding the Medusa website from our paediatric pharmacist colleagues in terms of challenges in using the website and potential solutions to overcoming those challenges.
Method An online survey was designed using Survey Monkey and sent to all NPPG pharmacists using the NHS networks message board, as well as all registered users of Medusa. 145 responses (after combining multiple responses from the same centre) were analysed from UK NHS and Irish hospitals.
Results Our results showed that almost all centres treat patients under 18 years of age (92%) and 83% of centres had access to Medusa either just for their pharmacists or at ward level. 25% of centres used hard copies of in-house designed IV guides at ward level, hence some centres used both Medusa and in-house guides. The in-house guides were in some cases written by pharmacists at that Trust, in other cases adapted from IV guides written by pharmacists at neighbouring Trusts. District general hospitals were more likely to use Medusa as the sole resource whereas specialist children's hospitals were more likely to their in-house guide as the sole resource.
Other resources used were the BNF for children and Guys and St Thomas' Hospital formulary. Further resources were only used by centres with designated paediatric medicines information pharmacists.
The IV guidance used for children often varied dependEnt on their age. For example, Trusts only treating adolescents and adults would mostly not have separate guidelines for the children. Often also, Trusts used different guidance for neonates on an intensive care unit, compared to neonates on a general ward.
57% respondents provided dosing information as well as administration information to their wards. Medusa does not provide dosing information and this can often be seen as a barrier to its use. Some centres provided dosing information via their in-house guides, but other centres adapted the Medusa monographs by using a function called “local guides” within the website to add information specific to that centre or area within the centre e.g. paediatrics, or intensive care.
Respondents recognised that although they produced their own guides, this was becoming an increasingly unsustainable workload and that Medusa was increasingly being used as the main alternative resource.
Conclusions The responses were used to create action plans for the NPPG pharmacists working with Medusa:
▸ Review each Medusa monograph for paediatric content
▸ Edit wording to reduce monograph length wherever possible
▸ Include practical information, rather than only information that can be referenced
▸ Review general information within website for paediatric content
▸ Edit wording to produce standardised content for consistency throughout the monographs.
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