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Chapter: Hospital pharmacy : Technical services

The term ‘technical services’ usually refers to the elements of hospital pharmacy organisational structure related to pharmaceutical production, manufacturing and associated quality assurance (QA) functions.


Technical services

 

The term ‘technical services’ usually refers to the elements of hospital pharmacy organisational structure related to pharmaceutical production, manufacturing and associated quality assurance (QA) functions. The defin-ition has been modified to suit local situations and changes in emphasis within hospital pharmacy production and preparation. For the purposes of this chapter, ‘technical services’ will include:

 

·      pharmaceutical repackaging

 

·      non-sterile manufacturing

 

·      sterile manufacturing (terminal sterilisation)

 

·      aseptic preparation, including:

 

·           parenteral infusions

 

·           cytotoxic infusions

 

·           total parenteral nutrition (TPN) solutions

 

·           radiopharmaceuticals.

 

In some centres, the different aspects of aseptic preparation are grouped under the heading centralised intravenous additive services (CIVAS). However, this does not adequately describe aseptic preparations requiring more complex manipulations than simple addition or the preparation of parenteral products for non-intravenous administration. For this reason the term ‘compounding’ is increasingly used to describe aseptic preparation services. Chapter 7 deals with QA.

 

This chapter will outline the development of technical services and then describe current practice across the range of services listed above. The respon-siveness of technical services to clinical need and changes in practice is illus-trated with selected examples of development and progress. These also serve to emphasise the interdependence of hospital pharmacy clinical, procurement and technical services. Finally, the new challenges facing technical services will be explored in the context of future trends in healthcare services.

 

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