Economic impact of Patient's Own Medication use during hospitalisation: a multicentre pre-post implementation study

Loes J M van Herpen-Meeuwissen, Bart J F van den Bemt, Hieronymus J Derijks, Patricia M L A van den Bemt, Frank de Vries, Barbara Maat, Hein A W van Onzenoort*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Medication is frequently thrown away after a patient's discharge from hospital, with undesirable economic and environmental consequences. Because of the rising costs of healthcare, interventions to reduce medication wastage (and associated costs) are warranted. Using Patient's Own Medication during hospitalisation might decrease medication wastage and associated costs. Objective To study the economic impact of patient's own medication use on medication waste and hospital staff's time spent during hospitalisation. Setting In seven Dutch hospitals, of which university, teaching, general, and specialised hospitals, eight different hospital wards, surgical and medical, were selected. Method In this prospective pre-post intervention study data on the economic value of medication waste and time spent by healthcare professionals were collected for a 2 months period each. The economic value of medication waste was defined as the value (euro) of wasted medication per 100 patient days. For each ward, time spent on medication process activities was measured 10 times per staff member. The average time spent (in hours) on medication process steps (multiple activities) per staff member per 100 patients and associated salary costs were calculated for both periods. Main outcome measure The primary outcome of the study was the total economic value (euro) of wasted medication per 100 patient days. Results Implementation of Patient's Own Medication decreased the economic value of wasted medication by 39.5% from euro3983 to euro2411 per 100 patient days. The mean time spent on the total medication process was reduced with 5.2 h per 100 patients (from 112.7 to 104.4 h per 100 patients). We observed a shift in professional activities, as physicians and nurses spent less time on the medication process, whereas pharmacy technicians had a greater role in it. When time spent was expressed as salary; euro1219 could be saved per 100 patients. Conclusions This study showed that 'Patient's Own Medication' implementation may have a positive economic impact, as the value of medication waste decreases, hospital staff devoted less time on the medication process, and staff deployment is more efficient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1658-1665
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number6
Early online date8 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Economic impact
  • Hospitalisation
  • Medication waste
  • Patient's own medication
  • CARE

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