Research Abstracts

The Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy 2004;15:406.

Evaluation of the Efficiency of Pharmacy Clinical Technician in the Antibiotic Intravenous to Oral Conversion at St. Paul’s Hospital

T. Doris Leung, B.Sc.(Pharm), Glen Brown, Pharm.D., LeeAnn McKenzie

Pharmacy Department, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, British Columbia 

Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (British Columbia Branch) Residency Research Presentation Night, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. May 2003.


Pharmacists at St. Paul’s Hospital are authorized to independently switch patients from intravenous (IV) to oral (PO) antibiotic therapy. The objectives of this study were to determine the efficiency of pharmacy technician in identifying patients for pharmacist independent PO conversion, to estimate the cost savings associated with such conversion, and to identify and evaluate barriers to conversion.


A major Canadian tertiary adult acute care teaching hospital.


Pharmacy technician assessed patients’ eligibility for conversion according to pre-established criteria. Potential candidates for conversion were identified to pharmacists for potential intervention. Frequent barriers to conversion were identified and evaluated for potential modification.


The overall rate of successful conversion was 1%. A loss of $431 was incurred in this study. Frequent barriers to conversion included “not tolerating oral medications, food, or fluids”, “positive blood cultures”, “white blood cell count >3.0 G/L”, and having received “IV for at least 3 days”. The last two barriers were identified as modifiable barriers through literature search.


Our study showed a low incidence of conversion, which might be attributed to barriers to conversion identified from this study. Others barriers not identified might also contribute. Addressing all barriers to conversion is necessary before effective pharmacist independent antibiotic IV to PO conversion can occur.

Copyright © 2003 by the Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy. All rights reserved.