Independent Prescribing Pharmacists Supporting the Early Discharge of Patients Through Completion of Medical Discharge Summaries.
J Pharm Pract. 2018 Aug 23;:897190018795950
Authors: Biggs MJ, Biggs TC
PURPOSE: Independent prescribing pharmacists are able to independently prescribe medications following additional postgraduate training. This study examined their use in completing medical discharge summaries, normally completed by junior doctors, in order to assess their impact on expedited hospital discharge times.
METHODS: In total, 163 patients were studied through a 2-stage audit. The first cycle evaluated junior doctors completing medical discharge summaries (as is normal practice). Three independent prescribing pharmacists were then trained to complete discharge summaries, and a second cycle was completed.
RESULTS: Following implementation of independent prescribing pharmacists to complete medical discharge summaries, the time from medical decision to discharge to summary completion dropped significantly (mean of 2:42 hours to 1:35 hours, P < .001). The time from medical decision to discharge to actual hospital discharge also dropped significantly (mean of 5:21 hours to 3:58 hours, P < .01). The number of discharge summary medication errors dropped significantly ( P < .05) between audit cycles.
CONCLUSION: The introduction of independent prescribing pharmacists to complete medical discharge summaries has significantly reduced the time to summary completion, discharge time, and the number of medication errors. In a time of limited medical resources and bed shortages, the use of allied health professionals to improve service delivery is of paramount importance. This project is the first of its kind within the literature.
PMID: 30139290 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]