Table 1

Characteristics of hospitals and wards studied

Hospital typeTeachingNon-teachingTeaching
Inpatient prescribingTypical UK paper drug chart10Typical UK paper drug chart but with no section to indicate the maximum dose of drugs given ‘when required’Typical UK paper charts but with pre-printed units (g/mg/μg) in the dose sections
Discharge prescribingAlmost all computerisedSome computerised and some paper basedSome computerised and some paper based
Medical admissions wards
 Wards4 wards (69 beds in total)1 ward (24 beds)1 ward (33 beds)
 Pharmacist availability on ward11 h weekdays, 5.5 h weekends3 h weekdays, none at weekends2 h weekdays, none at weekends
Post-take rounds attendedPost-take rounds attendedPost-take rounds attended
Surgical wards
 Wards1 vascular surgery (28 beds)2 general surgical wards (33 beds in total)1 orthopaedic surgery (26 beds)
 Pharmacist availability on wardVisit from pharmacist each weekday and short visit on SaturdaysVisit from pharmacist each weekdayVisit from pharmacist each weekday