A Narrative Review of Clinical Decision Support for Inpatient Clinical Pharmacists

Link to article at PubMed

Appl Clin Inform. 2021 Mar;12(2):199-207. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1722916. Epub 2021 Mar 17.


OBJECTIVE: Increasingly, pharmacists provide team-based care that impacts patient care; however, the extent of recent clinical decision support (CDS), targeted to support the evolving roles of pharmacists, is unknown. Our objective was to evaluate the literature to understand the impact of clinical pharmacists using CDS.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central for randomized controlled trials, nonrandomized trials, and quasi-experimental studies which evaluated CDS tools that were developed for inpatient pharmacists as a target user. The primary outcome of our analysis was the impact of CDS on patient safety, quality use of medication, and quality of care. Outcomes were scored as positive, negative, or neutral. The secondary outcome was the proportion of CDS developed for tasks other than medication order verification. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

RESULTS: Of 4,365 potentially relevant articles, 15 were included. Five studies were randomized controlled trials. All included studies were rated as good quality. Of the studies evaluating inpatient pharmacists using a CDS tool, four showed significantly improved quality use of medications, four showed significantly improved patient safety, and three showed significantly improved quality of care. Six studies (40%) supported expanded roles of clinical pharmacists.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that CDS can support clinical inpatient pharmacists in preventing medication errors and optimizing pharmacotherapy. Moreover, an increasing number of CDS tools have been developed for pharmacists' roles outside of order verification, whereby further supporting and establishing pharmacists as leaders in safe and effective pharmacotherapy.

PMID:33730757 | DOI:10.1055/s-0041-1722916

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