Are patients who self-administer their medicines in hospital more satisfied with their care?
Patient self-administration of medicines in hospital prior to discharge is being seen increasingly as good practice by health professionals. Previous studies have looked for increased compliance and knowledge or asked whether patients liked self-administration and have not clearly demonstrated the benefits. This study surveys patients’ views on self-administration and on their care. In particular it looks at the discharge process and the way information was given to the patient on discharge. Questionnaires were distributed to 309 patients being discharged from general medical wards of a teaching hospital in Central England to be completed by the patients after their discharge from hospital. Of these, 202 were returned to a separate university department for analysis. Although this study has been undertaken on only two wards, the survey has potential for large scale use. Findings which were consistent with previous work were that a great majority of patients who had self-administered their medicines would like to again, whilst those who had not had that opportunity were less likely to choose to self-administer in the future. However, this study found that a majority of patients under 60-years-old would choose to self-administer their medicines in hospital even if they had not been given the opportunity to do so recently. It was also found that patients who had administered their own medicines in hospital were more likely to report their overall care as excellent and were more satisfied with the discharge process than patients who had not.