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Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 691–698 | Cite as

The impact of critical care pharmacists on enhancing patient outcomes

  • Sandra L. Kane
  • Robert J. Weber
  • Joseph F. Dasta
Review

Abstract

The highly specialized knowledge and skills needed to care for critically ill patients requires a multidisciplinary team approach. Pharmacists are integral members of this team. They make valuable contributions to improve clinical, economic, and humanistic outcomes of patients. The purpose of this article is to review the literature pertaining to pharmacists' contributions within a multidisciplinary intensivist-led intensive care unit (ICU) team. Pharmacist interventions include correcting/clarifying orders, providing drug information, suggesting alternative therapies, identifying drug interactions, and therapeutic drug monitoring. Pharmacist involvement in improving clinical outcomes of critically ill patients is associated with optimal fluid management and substantial reductions in the rates of adverse drug events, medication administration errors, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Furthermore, economic evaluations of clinical pharmacy services in the ICU consistently reveal the potential for considerable cost savings.

Keywords

Critical care Pharmacy Outcomes Pharmacotherapy Cost-effectiveness Intensive care 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra L. Kane
    • 1
  • Robert J. Weber
    • 1
  • Joseph F. Dasta
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PharmacyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.College of PharmacyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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