Integrating a pharmacist into an anaesthesiology and critical care department: Is this worthwhile?
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Background Operating rooms and Intensive Care Units are places where an optimal management of drugs and medical devices is required. Objective To evaluate the impact of a dedicated pharmacist in an academic Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Department. Setting This study was conducted in the Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Department of Grenoble University Hospital. Method Between November 2013 and June 2017, the drug-related problems occurring in three Intensive Care Units and their corrections by a full-time clinical pharmacist were analyzed using a structured order review instrument. Pharmaceutical costs in the Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Department were analyzed over a 7 year period (2010–2016), during which automated dispensing systems and recurrent meetings to review indications of medications and medical devices were implemented in the department. Main outcome measure Analysis of two issues: correcting drug-related problems and containing pharmaceutical costs. Results A total of 324 drug-related problems were identified. The most frequent problem concerned anti-infective agents (45%), and this was mainly due to the over-dosage of drugs (30%). Dosage adjustments were the most frequent interventions performed by the pharmacist (43%). Over the 7 year period, pharmaceutical costs decreased by 9% (€365,469), while the care activity of the department increased by 55% (+ 12,022 surgical procedures and + 1424 admissions in the ICU). Conclusion Integrating a pharmacist into the Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Department was associated with interventions to correct drug-related problems and containing pharmaceutical costs. Pharmacists should play a central role in such medical environments, to optimize the use of drugs and medical devices.
KeywordsDrug-related problems France Health care costs Patient safety Pharmacists Quality improvement
The authors wish to thank the nurses and physicians in our department, for their enthusiasm and professionalism throughout the care of their patients.
This study received no specific funding.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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