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COVID-19 work from home productivity of inpatient and infusion pharmacists at a comprehensive cancer center

Published:November 24, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japh.2021.11.021
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      Abstract

      Purpose

      To evaluate inpatient and infusion pharmacist order verification productivity when working from home and to report their perceptions of a flexible workplace setting.

      Methods

      Order verification data was pulled from the electronic medical record from April 27, 2020 – June 30, 2020, matched to the pharmacist schedule based on work setting, and reported as average orders verified per day. Pharmacist perceptions were gathered via a survey to evaluate practice setting background, workplace setting preference, and perceived changes in workflow and their productivity.

      Results

      There was an overall increase in order verification productivity when working from home. Inpatient pharmacists on average verified 152 orders per day from home and 133 orders per day on-site. Infusion pharmacists on average verified 144 orders per day working from home and 117 orders per day working on-site. 59% of pharmacists reported preferring the mix of on-site and home workplace setting and noted little change in workflow. Additionally, 57% of the pharmacists perceive themselves as being more productive, 32% as maintaining the same level of productivity, and 10% feel they are less productive when working from home. The order verification data showed a greater increase in productivity for infusion shifts worked from home than inpatient shifts.

      Conclusion

      The COVID-19 pandemic prompted pharmacy departments to re-evaluate their ability to provide an option for a flexible workplace for pharmacists. Our study demonstrates that pharmacists on average verified more orders when working from home, and they also perceive themselves as being more productive. The results of this study support long-term applicability of a flexible work schedule for inpatient and infusion pharmacists

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