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“National Survey of Hospital Pharmacy Facilities Space Allocations and Functions”, (c) Alexander VB, Barker KN., American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 1986


Space allocations for hospital pharmacies and the demand on these facilities in terms of the external environment and functions performed are described. A 12-page questionnaire was sent in July 1982 to the chief pharmacists in a random sample of 1846 hospitals in the United States stratified by 10 hospital types.

The respondents in each hospital type were categorized by variables characterizing the external environment. The mean total amount of existing pharmacy space was computed for hospitals categorized by type and number of beds, and the mean space per bed in nonprofit, for-profit, and government (federal and nonfederal) hospitals was compared. The mean space for specific pharmacy functions was determined. The response rate was 45.6%, and the respondents were representative of the population.

The majority of all hospitals served only one building (67%) and had no teaching affiliation agreement (63%). Forty-eight percent of the hospitals administered medications using medication nurses; another 48% used primary or team nursing. There was little relationship between the number of beds and total space allocated for pharmacy facilities. Pharmacies had a mean of 6.9, 5.0, 7.0, and 10.6 gross square feet per bed, respectively, in nonprofit, for-profit, nonfederal government, and federal government hospitals. Space for selected pharmacy functions in the three types of general medical-surgical short-term hospitals are described.

Further studies examining the relationships between space and other variables described in this article are needed to explain apparent differences in the amount of space allocated to the pharmacy department among hospital types.

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