Clinical and economic impact of medication reconciliation by designated ward pharmacists in a hospitalist-managed acute medical unit

Link to article at PubMed

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021 Jun 10:S1551-7411(21)00207-2. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.06.005. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Minimizing unintended medication errors after admission is a common goal for clinical pharmacists and hospitalists.

OBJECTIVE: We assessed the clinical and economic impact of a medication reconciliation service in a model of designated ward pharmacists working in a hospitalist-managed acute medical unit as part of a multidisciplinary team.

METHODS: In this retrospective observational study, we compared pharmacist intervention records before and after the implementation of a medication reconciliation service by designated pharmacists. The frequency and type of intervention were assessed and their clinical impact was estimated according to the length of hospital stay and 30-day readmission rate. A cost analysis was performed using the average hourly salary of a pharmacist, cost of interventions (time spent on interventions), and cost avoidance (avoided costs generated by interventions).

RESULTS: After the implementation of the medication reconciliation service, the frequency of pharmacist interventions increased from 3.9% to 22.1% (p < 0.001). Intervention types were also more diverse than those before the implementation. The most common interventions included identifying medication discrepancies between pre-admission and hospitalization (22.7%) and potentially inappropriate medication use in the elderly (13.1%). The median length of hospital stay decreased from 9.6 to 8.9 days (p = 0.024); the 30-day readmission rate declined significantly from 7.8% to 4.8% (p = 0.046). Over two-thirds of interventions accepted by hospitalists were considered clinically significant or greater in severity. The cost difference between avoided cost and cost of interventions was 9838.58 USD in total or 1967.72 USD per month.

CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of a designated pharmacist-led medication reconciliation service had a positive clinical and economic impact in our hospitalist unit.

PMID:34148853 | DOI:10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.06.005

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