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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-72

Critical care pharmacy services in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ohoud A Aljuhani
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box: 80260, Jeddah 21589
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sccj.sccj_2_20

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Background: The value of critical care pharmacists (CCPs) in intensive care units (ICUs) has been well documented, and various studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of CCPs. Despite growing evidence supporting the contributions of clinical pharmacists in general and CCPs in particular in improving patient outcomes, many hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) still lack clinical pharmacy services. Most studies that have measured the impacts of CCPs in ICU settings have been conducted outside Saudi Arabia, with a significant gap in the literature related to CCP-related impacts, needs and obstacles in Saudi Arabia. Objective: To evaluate the current status of CCP services and the CCP services that are needed in Saudi Arabia as well as the barriers to establishing these services. Setting: Governmental and non-governmental hospitals in the western region of the KSA. Method: This was a cross-sectional survey-based study conducted in the western region of the KSA. The questionnaire included questions investigating current CCP services, which include clinical, educational, administrative and research services. Additional questions assessed the obstacles, needs and limitations related to the development of CCP services. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome is to describe the current status of ICU pharmacists in the KSA. Secondary outcomes of interest are the evaluation of the need for CCP services and the identification of the main barriers to establishing these services. Results: Of the 130 hospitals with ICUs to which surveys were emailed, 94 (72%) responded. Forty-three percent of responding hospitals had an ICU multidisciplinary team structure that included a pharmacist who visited the unit during medical rounds. Up to 54% of the hospitals with CCP services had one dedicated pharmacist present at bedside and during medical rounds. Approximately 78% of the ICU pharmacists performed one or more clinical activities. Training pharmacy interns was one of the major educational activities provided by ICU pharmacists. Clinical services (42%) were the most needed services, followed by educational (14%) activities. Limited job availability was the main barriers to having CCP services among hospitals. Conclusion: Critical care pharmacists in the western region of the KSA mainly provide fundamental clinical services, with limited engagement in desirable and optimal services such as research activities. The limited CCP services in the KSA are due to several barriers that warrant national efforts from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Saudi Commission for Health Specialists (SCFHS).

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