Int J Clin Pharm. 2022 Jan 25. doi: 10.1007/s11096-021-01369-1. Online ahead of print.
Background Despite several international studies demonstrating that ward-based pharmacists improve medication quality, ward pharmacists are not generally established in German hospitals. Aim We assessed the effect of a ward-based clinical pharmacist on the medication quality of geriatric inpatients in a German university hospital. Method The before-after study with a historic control group was conducted on the geriatric ward. During the control phase, patients received standard care without the involvement of a pharmacist. The intervention consisted of a clinical pharmacist providing pharmaceutical care from admission to discharge. Medication quality was measured on admission and discharge using the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI). A linear regression analysis was conducted to calculate the influence of the intervention on the MAI. Results Patients in the intervention group (n = 152, mean 83 years) were older and took more drugs at admission compared to the control group (n = 159, 81 years). For both groups, the MAI per patient improved significantly from admission to discharge. Although the intervention did not influence the summated MAI score per patient, the intervention significantly reduced the MAI criteria Dosage (p = 0.006), Correct Directions (p = 0.016) and Practical Directions (p = 0.004) as well as the proportion of overall inappropriate MAI ratings (at least 1 of 9 criteria inappropriate) (p = 0.015). Conclusion Although medication quality was already high in the control group, a ward-based clinical pharmacist could contribute meaningfully to the medication quality on an acute geriatric ward.