The implementation of a Technician Enhanced Administration of Medications [TEAM] model: An evaluative study of impact on working practices in a children's hospital

LOUISE COPE, AXEL KAEHNE, Sergio Silverio, Louise Bracken, Jennifer Bellis, Matthew Peak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Children are frequently prescribed unlicensed and off-label medicines meaning dosing and administration of medicines to children is often based on poor quality guidance. In UK hospitals, nursing staff are often responsible for administering medications. Medication Errors [MEs] are problematic for health services, though are poorly reported and therefore difficult to quantify with confidence. In the UK, children's medicines require administration by at least two members of ward staff, known as a ‘second check’ system, thought to reduce Medication Administration Errors [MAEs].
Objectives: To assess the impact on working practices of the introduction of a new way of working, using Technician Enhanced Administration of Medications [TEAM] on two specialist wards within a children's’ hospital. To evidence any potential impact of a TEAM ward-based pharmacy technician [PhT] on the reporting of
Methods: A TEAM PhT was employed on two wards within the children's hospital and trained in medicines administration. Firstly, an observational pre-and-post cohort design was used to identify the effect of TEAM on MEs. We analysed the hospital's official reporting system for incidents and ‘near misses’, as well as the personal incident log of the TEAM PhT. Secondly, after implementation, we interviewed staff about their perceptions of TEAM and its impact on working practices.
Results: We affirm MEs are considerably under-reported in hospital settings, but TEAM PhTs can readily identify them. Further, placing TEAM PhTs on wards may create opportunities for inter-professional knowledge exchange and increase nurses’ awareness of potential MAEs, although this requires facilitation.
Conclusions: TEAM PhT roles may be beneficial for pharmacy technicians’ motivation, job satisfaction, and career development. Hospitals will need to consider the balance between resources invested in TEAM PhTs and the level of impact on reporting MEs. Health economic analyses could provide evidence to fully endorse integration of TEAM PhTs for all hospital settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1768-1774
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number12
Early online date6 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Children's medicines
  • Hospital pharmacy
  • Medication administration errors
  • Medication errors
  • Paediatric medicines
  • Pharmacy technician


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